The Great Depression was partly caused by the great inequality between the rich who accounted for a third of all wealth and the poor who had no savings at all. As the economy worsened many lost their fortunes, and some members of high society were forced to curb their extravagant lifestyles.
Even the affluent faced severe belt-tightening.
Even upper-middle class professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, saw their incomes drop by as much as 40 percent. Families who had previously enjoyed economic security suddenly faced financial instability or, in some cases, ruin.
In the Great Plains, one of the worst droughts in history left the land barren and unfit for growing even minimal food to live on. The country's most vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and those subject to discrimination, like African Americans, were the hardest hit.
More people became millionaires during The Great Depression than in any other time in American history. After quitting school early, failing his military training and being fired from a few jobs, Harland David Sanders saw an opportunity to start a business during this time.
Business titans such as William Boeing and Walter Chrysler actually grew their fortunes during the Great Depression.
Deflation increased the real burden of debt and left many firms and households with too little income to repay their loans. Bankruptcies and defaults increased, which caused thousands of banks to fail. In each year from 1930 to 1933, more than 1,000 U.S. banks closed.
The classic way to profit in a declining market is via a short sale — selling stock you've borrowed (e.g., from a broker) in hopes the price will drop, enabling you to buy cheaper shares to pay off the loan. One famous character who made money this way in the 1929 crash was speculator Jesse Lauriston Livermore.
Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds
While stocks and mutual funds are bound to be a gamble during a depression, default-proof Treasury bills, Treasury notes and Treasury bonds may be a good investment. These are issued by the U.S. government and offer a fixed rate of interest after they mature.
Mansa Musa (1280-1337) - Wealth incalculable
Mansa Moussa, who ruled the Malian Empire, lived from 1280 to 1337 considered the richest man of all time. He also owned the Bambuk gold mines which account for more than 50 per cent of world supply today. Its territory produced half of the world's gold stock.
Money. During the Great Depression, which occurred from 1929 to 1933, many Americans lost all of their money and were not able to get jobs. Therefore, they were not able to buy food. Since most people did not have enough money to shop for food, there wasn't enough business to keep most of the groceries fully stocked.
At its peak, the Great Depression saw nearly 10% of all Great Plains farms change hands despite federal assistance. The decline in the U.S. economy was the factor that pulled down most other countries at first; then, internal weaknesses or strengths in each country made conditions worse or better.
There are rules for making the most of a depression. Most important – cash is king. It's important to remember that during a recession or depression, cash is king.
In most countries, such as Britain, France, Canada, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries, the depression was less severe and shorter, often ending by 1931. Those countries did not have the banking and financial crises that the United States did, and most left the gold standard earlier than the United States did.
More important was the impact that it had on people's lives: the Depression brought hardship, homelessness, and hunger to millions. THE DEPRESSION IN THE CITIES In cities across the country, people lost their jobs, were evicted from their homes and ended up in the streets.
Businesses were failing because of overproduction of goods and underconsumption . Banks were refusing to lend money to companies to help them survive because of a lack of confidence in the economy. The cut backs in production led to unemployment, which in turn reduced demand for goods and created further unemployment.
Millions of shares ended up worthless, and those investors who had bought stocks “on margin” (with borrowed money) were wiped out completely.
Even though stocks cratered in the 1929 crash, government bonds were safe havens for investors. A position in bonds probably wouldn't have shielded you completely from stock-market losses, but it certainly would have softened the blow.
Could a Great Depression happen again? Possibly, but it would take a repeat of the bipartisan and devastatingly foolish policies of the 1920s and ' 30s to bring it about. For the most part, economists now know that the stock market did not cause the 1929 crash.
The good news is your money is protected as long as your bank is federally insured (FDIC). The FDIC is an independent agency created by Congress in 1933 in response to the many bank failures during the Great Depression.
Your biggest risk in a recession is the loss of your job, if you're still employed or semi-employed. If you need to tap your savings for living expenses, a cash account is your best bet. Stocks tend to suffer in a recession, and you don't want to have to sell stocks in a falling market.
Despite the widespread impact of the Great Depression in America, two industries did not suffer. These industries included entertainment and alcohol.... See full answer below.
In the early 1930s prices dropped so low that many farmers went bankrupt and lost their farms. In some cases, the price of a bushel of corn fell to just eight or ten cents. Some farm families began burning corn rather than coal in their stoves because corn was cheaper.