The White Knight Unhorsed
In 1934 Wall Street was almost a ghost town; customers’ men drowsed in the empty board rooms, and brokers idled and joked the days away on the floor of the Stock Exchange, where trading volume was running at less than half the pace of 1933. The first fine rapture of the “Roosevelt market” had vanished with the failure of the early New Deal measures to bring about significant recovery, and apathy had settled over the market. When stocks were traded at all, they were traded listlessly, desultorily, with little price movement. The professional speculators were on the sidelines waiting to see what would happen next, and the public had little money to invest and less interest in investing. Brokerage firms were ...