Below, a cartoon by Daniel Bishop of the St. Louis Star, depicting “New York Stock Exchange”, with his crazy ugly wife “Short Selling”, and their club-armed brat kid “Bear Stories”. This cartoon was reprinted in the April 1932 issue of American Review of Reviews, as an illustration of the wrong-headedness of those denouncing the practice of short selling, in accompaniment to a pro-Wall Street, pro-Short Selling article titled SHORT SELLING: Its Function in a Free Market, by C.T. Revere. At this point in the first Great Depression, American Review of Reviews was pro-Herbert Hoover, pro-Republican/Business Laissez-Faire. The majority of the cartoons it showed from the 1929 Stock Crash up thru 1932, were about how Herbert Hoover was always (for more than two years running) just on the verge of turning things around. Or, how the Depression was the fault of “Gloomy Gus” businesses who should stop thinking negatively and get up and start producing. Or, how the worsening economic crisis was the fault of consumers, for hanging on to their savings instead of spending.
For the 1932 Presidential Election Year, when you would have thought most cartoons would be focused on the economy and unemployment, the ones that American Review of Reviews chose to show most often to its readers, instead involved the split between “Dry” versus “Wet” politics (i.e., not the economy, but, division within the Republican Party between those wishing to dump support of Prohibition, and those who insisted it was an essential position of their base).
One year later however — 1933 — even the still conservative American Review of Reviews turned against the excesses/ruin caused by short sellers, running an article against the practice, with the below cartoon by an unidentified Brooklyn Times cartoonist, illustrating the point.
Unfortunately, we are now experiencing the results of the answer to the question posed by the above cartoon.
Click here to find prior Wall Street Frauds Make Wonderful Cartoons entries, and related I.T.C.H. posts. This series will continue, so long as the debate on financial reforms continues in Congress (except Mondays and holidays, when I’d already planned other material).