Great Depression 2.0: Is Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a 2008 Version of 1929’s Thomas Lamont? (Lamont Was a Banker Who Put Together a Briefly Successful Luqidity Deal Before the Market Fully Collapsed.)

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:

On Black Thursday in 1929, he was acting head of J.P. Morgan & Co. He tried to inject confidence back into the stock market through massive purchases of blue chip stocks.

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:

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to Great Depression 2.0: Is Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a 2008 Version of 1929’s Thomas Lamont? (Lamont Was a Banker Who Put Together a Briefly Successful Luqidity Deal Before the Market Fully Collapsed.)

  1. averageuscitizen says:

    Must say, I have to agree. This seems like a shell game run amok. They call these things financial “products”. They are not products, they are tactics to keep money moving fast enough so that nobody can really tell how much money exists or where it is at the moment.

    If you want the economy to stabilize, force companies and individuals to live within their means. Stop purchasing thing on credit. It’s basic common sense economics.

  2. santitafarella says:

    average:

    does this mean that you would say “do nothing”—let the market collapse?

    i personally don’t see any alternative but to give paulson’s plan (or something like it) a shot.

    it might work.

    and if it doesn’t, and the credit markets don’t start lending again, then you’ve got to try something else.

    anyway, that’s my armchair view as a lay person on economic matters.

  3. JIMBO says:

    1ST RESTORE DIGNITY TO BONDS AND PREFERREDS THE WORD ” ELIMINATE ” WAS THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD ANY STRENGTH AND SELLERS UNLOAD INTO THE PAULSON DEPRESSION MARKET. OF COURSE THERE ARE NO BUYERS

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