Many sources point to a number of causes of the 1929 stock market crash. Over-valued utilities and investment trusts are thought to have played a large part in the crash. Another reason could be that investors were buying securities on margin. The utilities industry alone represented $14.8 billion in value on September 1, 1929, and was responsible for 18 percent of the NYSE’s value decline.
Despite the crash, prices rose again in the following weeks. Unfortunately, the United States entered the Great Depression and by 1932, the stock market had dropped to only twenty percent of its 1929 value. Fortunately, no major brokerage firms filed for bankruptcy during the crash. As a result, many investors were forced to sell their stocks.
Panic is a common cause of a stock market crash. During a panic, investors are frightened of losing their money. This panic causes them to sell their stocks in order to protect their investments. More people sell, and the crash spreads. Fear of specific legislation can also contribute to a crash.
The 1929 stock market crash has become synonymous with the collapse of stock prices. The crash caused millions of dollars to be lost. The stock prices collapsed on October 29, 1929. The New York Stock Exchange was overwhelmed with trades; the stock tickers were hours behind because the machines couldn’t handle the volume. While many people have lost their money, the market rebounded to some extent the following week.
The Roaring Twenties was a period of heavy speculation and overindulgence on Wall Street. Investors thought that asset prices would continue to rise. However, excessive optimism also led many consumers to incur too much debt. Some pioneers of new technologies saw their share prices rise dramatically, and the New York Stock Exchange reported an overall rise of almost 300%. The 1929 Wall Street Crash was the biggest market crash in the history of the Western industrialized world.
To prevent future crashes, the major stock exchanges have instituted measures that prevent panic selling. These safeguards are designed to prevent investors from selling their assets to avoid losing everything. For instance, trading is halted for a short time when S&P 500 index prices fall by more than 10%. These measures also prevent the market from freefalling further.
In addition to the crash in the US, another major stock market crash occurred in Japan. Although this crash did not cause a global or national recession, it did lead to the implementation of circuit breakers and the Federal Reserve’s lowering of interest rates to ensure that markets had ample credit. This was followed by a slow recession that lasted until 2011. The decline in asset prices caused an accumulation of non-performing assets which caused problems for financial institutions.