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Lessons from October 29, 1929

October 29, 2009

Eighty years ago today, Wall Street experienced its worst day in history.  The events of October 29, 1929 helped drag the United States into the Great Depression that led to a vast number of bank closures, foreclosures, and widespread unemployment.

Two generations later, have we learned from our mistakes?  Today’s Huffington Post has an article courtesy of the New Deal 2.0, the Roosevelt Institute’s economy blog, that poses this question to politicians, economists, lawyers, historians and more.  You can see all their responses here.

Elizabeth Warren contributed her opinion on the matter.  Here’s her final paragraph:

“The banking lobby is as powerful and deeply entrenched as ever, but it was powerful in the 1930s, too.  Nonetheless, the New Dealers learned the Great Lesson: Powerful insiders cannot be permitted to write the rules, and prosperity and security depend on a playing field that supports a vibrant middle class.  Today, we face a similar set of questions as we faced then.  Will the institutions that created the middle class continue calling the shots and writing the rules, or will Washington take the side of families?  Have we learned the Great Lesson?”

(Photo: onohoku)

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