A syndicate of bankers gathered on October 24th to plan out how to end the panic. As acting president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney was the face of the operation. The rest ran the six largest banks in the country.
It was like history repeating itself. J.P. Morgan famously did something similar in 1907 when he summoned the leading bankers to save the financial system from collapse. Only this time things didn’t work out as before.
The day after Black Thursday (October 24, 1929), Whitney strolled up to Post No. 2 on the exchange floor and ordered 10,000 shares of U.S. Steel. “205 for Steel” was the bid. It was over $5 above the current asking price. He did the same for several other blue-chip stocks. In a matter of minutes, he placed $20 million in bids. The market reversed course and rallied into the close. It was enough to turn the tide through the weekend.
The selling resumed on Monday. And on October 29th, forever known as Black Tuesday, the market was in a full-on panic. Continue Reading…