Sunday, January 13, 2013

Panics, Recessions and Depressions

Panic of 1797 - Cause by land speculation bubble and yellow fever epidemic

Depression of 1807 - Due to the result of English trade restrictions combined with the Embargo Act of 1807 and then we had ourselves a war. 

1815-1821 Depression - Due to another land speculation bubble, large US Government debt from the war that depleted the state bank's money led to defaulted loans and many bank failures.

Panic of 1837 - Due to another land speculation bubble and the resulting crash, more than 40% of America’s banks failed.

Panic Of 1857 - Due to the inflation caused by the discovery of gold in California, and the failure of the New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. leading to a run on the banks and a long-term distrust in the US government and its ability to back paper currency. More than 5,000 banks failed in a little over a year.

Panic of 1873 - Was caused by the economic difficulty of the Great Chicago Fire and the country wide Equine Flu epidemic(1872) which killed or sickened almost every horse in America.  The railroad boom and then the railroad bust caused many banks and 18,000 businesses to fail.  Unemployment went over 14%. 

Panic of 1893 - 1893 Due to years of over building by the railroads and the slowing of the economy across the country. With the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, there was a run on banks causing more than 15,000 businesses to fail, 500 banks to close, and unemployment to remain over 10% for five years, making this the worst U.S. depression until the Great Depression.

Panic of 1907 - Due to banks over lending and an investor failing in an attempt to corner the copper market, the Knickerbocker Trust Company–one of the largest trusts in the country– failed, causing a series of bank failure.

Depression of 1920-21 -  Due to massive deflation and the return of the Doughboys from WWI, unemployment spiked, with 1.6 million people looking for work.

The Great Depression (1929-41) - Due to irresponsible speculation in the 20′s and the resulting stock market crash the US entered its worst Depression ever.  It lasted over 11 years and unemployment hit 25%, while US production levels were cut in half.

1973-75 Recession - Due to the end of the Gold Standard and its resulting stock market crash and increased oil prices from an embargo from OAPEC, the US entered another recession and unemployment levels hit 9%

Early 1980’s Recession -  Due to the inflation caused by leaving the Gold Standard in the early 70's,  the Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy, which dried up capital, reducing investments. As inflation slowed unemployment rose.

Current Recession - Due to government mandated risky mortgages that caused another land speculation bubble(housing market), over-extended consumer credit and the resulting defaults as the bubble popped, over 350 banks and financial institutions failed.  Some were "too big to fail" and were bailed out on the tax payer's dime.  Unemployment has stayed between 7.7% and 10%, according to "Official" sources.  Although actual unemployment is easily triple the 7.7% the government is claiming according to this article

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