Using mostly cartoons shown over the course of our Wall Street Frauds Make Wonderful Cartoons run, plus a scattering of a few new ones, we have a brief review in pictures, of Wall Street Crashes & Panics, from mid-19th Century, up through Great Depression I.
The upcoming election pits one candidate who is a millionaire Wal Street-er, who even after the crash that we’re still recovering from, wants to further remove what regulations and safe guards we have (and who, like Bush II, won’t bother to enforce the ones that remain in place). Versus a candidate who, yes, we would have liked to have done more, but who allow Wall Street and Republican extremists in Congress, to pass anything they desire.
Market collapses occur regularly & frequently in a pure, unregulated Capitalist system — basically because in such an environment, each capitalist is out for their own, immediate personal profit, without regard to whatever & whomever else they may damage. Even if some would like to do right for others, in Capitalism with few or no regulations, “doing right” puts them at a disadvantage to those who have no moral qualms or scruples. History has shown that Capitalism actually thrives better with regulations, and with more income equality — just don’t tell that to those who yearn for the good old days of Plutocracy — who want to be robber barons, with the majority reduced to minimal wage slaves, so that the disparity between them and the masses is more visibly apparent.
The long history of markey crashes disappeared after Great Depression I, because of regulations put in place by F.D.R. and the Democrats swept into Congress, after Republicans destroyed the economy with policies which they again want us to return to. Hard crashes disappeared for four decades+. Then, under pressure of Republicans & Wall Street, which claimed it had learned the lessons of the 1930′s Great Depression, and prmoises they would not repeat the mistake of wreckless gambling with the economy for personal gain, again, F.D.R.’s regulations were dismantled. And so, we’ve once again entered the era of booms & crashes.
Click on the below pictures, to view the cartoons in detail, and read their captions.
Beneath, Placidity of the Great Monopolist — “Whatever Happens I Shall be Alright”, by Grant Hamilton, showing how the wealthy live well, no matter what the condition of the markets they manipulate. From the front page of the August 28, 1883 (New York)
Above, Capital One Million, from the Illustrated London News, October 1856, depicting the setting up & execution of an investment scheme/swindle.
Below, The Game of Panic, by Mortimer “Doesticks” Thomson, in the October 10th, 1857 issue of the New York City comic periodical, The Picayune, showing a fraudulent life insurance & investment company, setting off a collapse of banks as per a game of dominoes; from the Panic of 1857.
Next, for those with a hankering to do a little reading without pictures, from the December 1857 issue of The Picayune, we have the satirical short story, The Sorrows of a Moneyed Man — An Episode of the Panic. The story is preceded (below, left) by a page of advertising, including one ad for a book simply titled, “The Panic”, which espouses to teach its readers about all the financial collapses in the U.S., to that time. (From the ad: 1690, 1748, 1780, 1792, 1797, 1808, 1815, 1837, and 1857). To view a complete online copy of this book, posted by the University of California, click here.
Above, Authentic Portrait of the Panic, from the October 31st, 1857 issue of The Picayune, by Frank “Triangle” Bellew.
Also by Frank Bellew, Sr., below, Panic, as a Health Officer, Sweeping the Garbage Out of Wall Street. Note this is the same character from 1857, aged twenty years by Bellew for the Panic of 1873! From the front page of the September 29th, 1873 issue of the (New York) Daily Graphic.
Next, from the September 26th, 1873 issue of the (New York) Daily Graphic, comes Humors of the Great Wall Street Panic, by artist Charles Jay Taylor. By the way, the incident being satirize here, is re-enacted in the current History Channel miniseries, The Men Who Built America, which goes into the actions of the monopolists/robber barons, mid-19th century, into early 20th. Gould appears briefly, with more coverage given to Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford. If you’ve been following the cartoons which have appeared on this site concerning several of those men, you may be interested in seeing some of the history behind the cartoons. (It’s also good to see the History Channel running something other than “Ancient Alien Visitations”…)
Above, Frank Bellew, Sr. again, with The Inflation Question — A Big Drunk and Then the Gutter, showing Uncle Sam on a bender, followed by crash, from the front page of the April 3rd, 1874 issue of the (New York) Daily Graphic.
Beneath, Receivership — Where Does the Money Go?, from the rear cover of the July 9th, 1879 issue of Puck magazine. With art by James Wales, it questions the disappearance of money occuring in frequent bank and insurance company collapses of the day.
Above, James Wales again, from the rear cover of the January 14th, 1880 issue of Puck, we have Paper Foundations. Banking on a Friendly Basis.
Below, A Wall Street Cleaner (via the Crash of 1884), by Puck magazine’s founder, Joseph Keppler, Sr.. From the front cover of the May 21st, 1884 issue.
Next, above & below, two cartoons from the Panic of 1893.
In artist Frank Beard‘s Anti-Alcohol, Prohibition cartoon above — The Poor Man’s Alternative — published in the Chicago Christian comic magazine, The Ram’s Horn — Beard depicts the dilemma of the working poor: unemployed by the Panic of 1893; land, money, and tools taken by monopolies, with the law on their side/answering to them; and saloons offering “free” food, to those who come in for a drink… Image scanned from the 1902 collection, Blasts from The Ram’s Horn.
Below, The Financial Situation, by Emanuel Wyttenbach, originally published (in color) in the June 17th, 1893 issue of Wasp magazine. I scanned this image from its reprinting, in the August 1893 edition of American Review of Reviews. Depicts the wealthy skipping town, clinging to their money, as banks collapse around them.
Above, from the cover of the August 9th, 1901 issue of Life magazine, by William H. Walker.
Beneath, The Flies Got Wise, from the cover of the January 22nd, 1913 issue of Puck.
Above, Chicago Tribune cartoonist John T. McCutcheon‘s 1912 depiction of then President-Elect Woodrow Wilson, warning Wall Street to not start a false financial panic for their personal benefit. Titled A Warning to Panic Breeders, this example is was later reprinted in the January 1913 issue of Cartoons Magazine.
Below, less than a year before the 1929 Stock Market Collapse — from the January 1929 issue of American Review of Reviews — comes a Nursery Rhyme for Simple Investors.
Above, post-1929 Crash, Sold Out, by Rollin Kirby. From its reprinting in the December 1929 issue of American Review of Reviews.
Beneath, Wall Street in Ruins, which first appeared in the Swiss publication Nebelspalter, as it was reproduced in the February 1930 issue of American Review of Reviews.
Above, Another Public Works Program That Shouldn’t be Delayed. From the March 1934 American Review of Reviews, shows how four-and-a-half years plus after the start of Great Depression I, financial reforms were still being struggled with. (The first three-and-a-quarter years were under G.O.P. management, who of course had no inclination to regulate Wall Street, and under whose policies — basically the same smaller government Laissez Faire economic policy currently espoused by Republicans – the Great Depression got worse). Cartoon by Harold Talburt, of the New York World-Telegram.
Finally, to close out, we have the recently shown An Apple for Teacher by Clarence Daniel Batchelor, published in 1933 in the New York Daily News. Wall Street would like us to “Forgive & Forget”, and to return to the “Old Deal” of pre-regulation days, allowing them to do as they want, profiting & pocketing all returns when they succeed, but making everyone else pay for it, when their gambling schemes fail.
Financial Reforms NYPuck NYLife NYDailyGraphic NYPicayune BellewSr WaspMag