Thomas Lamont was an American banker, a fascist sympathizer, and someone who made use of a private yacht as part of his daily commute to Wall Street.
In Ocober of 1929 he was a central player in putting together a liquidity deal to try to stem the collapse of the stock market. Here’s a quote from his Wikipedia page:
His move worked for a single day, briefly stabilizing the market.
But after the weekend, investors became nervous again, and the solution Lamont tried to put together proved inadequate, as if a single person had tried “to stop Niagra Falls.”
Let’s hope that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s liquidity plan, or some congressional version of it, proves more successful than Lamont’s, and let’s hope that Paulson does not prove to be the Thomas Lamont of the 21st century.
But the parallels between Paulson and Thomas Lamont are striking and disturbing, as can be seen in this brief clip from a video documentary on the 1929 stock market crash: