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Black Tuesday - 10/29/14

Eighty-five years ago today, the world changed.  That day was known as Black Tuesday.  Investors traded more than 16.4 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange during a single day, a massive tally at the time.  Billions of dollars in paper wealth were lost, wiping out thousands of investors.  In the aftermath of Black Tuesday, America and the balance of the industrialized world spiraled downward into the Great Depression. 

According to the History Channel, panic had actually begun to set in five days earlier, on October 24th, 1929 – otherwise known as black Thursday.  On that day, 12.9 million shares were traded as investment companies and leading bankers attempted to stability the market by purchasing large blocks of stock.  That produced a moderate rally on Friday of that week, but by the following Monday, the market went back into freefall. 

On Black Tuesday, stock prices collapsed completely as investors capitulated.  Though historians indicate that there were other causes of the Great Depression, October 29th 1929, helped to accelerate the global economic collapse.  By 1933, nearly half of America’s banks had failed and unemployment approached 30 percent of the workforce.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.