This past Friday, we presented the monstrous Croesus figure by Frank Bellew, in a Daily Graphic cover concerning the Financial Panic of 1873. Today, another one of Frank Bellew‘s Panic of 1873 giant monsters: Panic, as a Health Officer, Sweeping the Garbage Out of Wall Street.
The “garbage” includes such things as “Jay Gould’s Pledges“, “Speculative Puts“, and “Interests on Call Deposits“. The ducks — appearing next to the garbage — I am guessing is a reference to watered stocks (see the post on Croesus).
An interesting aspect here — and one I likely never would have spotted had I not been reviewing so many Wall Street-related cartoons — is Bellew’s depiction of the face of Panic, in this cartoon, from the New York Daily Graphic cover, September 29, 1873. The face is highly similar to one Frank Bellew drew 16 years earlier for the New York comic periodical The Picayune, published October 31, 1857. For comparison, click here to see that earlier Bellew cartoon, titled Authentic Portrait of the Panic. Additionally fascinating is that, assuming it is the same character, the 1873 Panic appears aged roughly 16 years over his 1857 depiction!
Click on picture, to see an enlarged version.
Click here to find both the prior Wall Street Frauds Make Wonderful Cartoons entries, and related I.T.C.H. posts. This series will continue, while the debate on financial reforms continues in Congress (except Mondays and holidays, on which I already had other material planned).
Series Refrain: Bank frauds and Wall Street swindles, resulting in economic ruin for everyone else, were regular and frequent occurrences prior to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s institution of laws designed to prevent further Great Depressions. These regulations worked until, starting in the 1980s, conservatives began dismantling those protections, stating that we’d be better off with an unfettered and unregulated market, free to do whatever it wants. Wall Street firms swore at that time, that they’d learned the lessons of the Great Depression, and could be trusted to not engage in dangerous practices.
If there is one lesson from the various economic collapses throughout history, it’s that human greed is eternal. There will always be selfish fools, who grab for themselves without care for the damage they inflict on others.