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October 19, from Steve Ellison

October 19, 2007 |

Two years ago, I just about jumped out of my skin when I walked into a convenience store and saw a large sign saying "October 19, 1987." A closer examination revealed the purpose of the sign: "You must have been born on or before this date to purchase cigarettes."

Marion Dreyfus recalls:

On October 19, 1987, a friend sent me a two-pound box of Leonidas to commemorate the flight I was on wherein he met me. He went on to Paris, I to London. When I arrived, I was told the market had fallen 500 points. I was in shock, thought my informant was joshing cruelly. But these layers of deliciousness are almost a suitable make-up for the huge loss suffered.

Sam Marx writes:

I remember that weekend of October 1987 well. The Dow was around 3,000 and Friday had a 100 point selloff.

That evening on Rukeyser's Wall Street Week, Martin Zweig predicted a crash for Monday, which did occur. That prediction truly cemented his reputation. If anyone hears or reads of a Zweig prediction this weekend, please tell me!

But to compare that weekend to now without taking into account the underlying technical structure (market P/E, option implied vol, etc.) is misleading. For example, implied vol then was very low, today it is moderate.


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