Sep

27

Black Friday, from Alan Millhone

September 27, 2010 |

 Last Friday in 1869, thousands of businessman were ruined in a Wall Street panic known as "Black Friday " after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market–From my morning paper.

Stefan Jovanovich writes:

If Black Friday repeated itself, it would be with the Treasury selling 4 million ounces of gold, not buying. The "scandal" was that President Grant, contrary to the advice of Butterfield (the Larry Summers of his day) and the assorted wise heads in favor of QE, persisted in his commitment to make the Civil War greenbacks convertible to specie. Butterfield had to resign, and Henry Adams (think Paul Krugman on speed) was furious that the United States was not going to cure poverty by printing dollars. The result was an article called "The New York Gold Conspiracy", written by Adams in 1870, which remains the "everybody knows" version of history for this event.


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