When Rudy Vallee, at the opening of George White's 'Scandals" on September 13, 1931 sang;
Life is just a bowl of cherries
Don't make it serious.....
Life's too mysterious....
He summed up both the disillusionment and bewilderment, of Depression and the desire to take them, if possible lightly.
What are we witnessing after the collapse of Lehman Brothers a mere readjustment of the market or a crash of the proportions of 1929? Does anyone know? I doubt it, but the banking system that invented self certificated mortgages and derivatives that no one understands has put us all in jeopardy.
Should that be self certified mortgages? All I know is that people who earned £25,000 a year and claimed to be earning £65,000 a year in order to buy a house they could not afford needed to be certified.
The agents, brokers and banks who aided this fiasco in the sub- prime market should be ashamed of the misery they have brought on so many.
Professor Irving Fisher has stated that stock prices have reached 'what looks like a permanently high plateau.' He expects to see the stock market, within a few months, 'a good deal higher than it is today.' Actually he said that lot on October 17th 1929 which shows just how wrong you can be.
A few weeks later the Commercial & Financial Chronicle in the issue of November 2, was a bit more accurate when it said 'The present week has witnessed the greatest stock market catastrophe of all the ages.'
At least reading history books and great fiction such a John Lawton's Second Violin makes you realise that things have been a lot worse within our parent's life times. The optimism of that previous generation was shown when a new song rose to popularity [copyrighted on November 7, 1929] late in 1929:
Happy Days Are Here Again.
The song was used as a theme song during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1932 Election campaign.
Let us be optimistic and hope for the best.
[All references taken from Since Yesterday, America in the 1930s: Frederick Lewis Allen 1939]