Start of the 1929 Crash

The U.S. stock market began following the fall of the German and French stock markets during the first few days of September, 1929. Above is a typical story about a small still–the large, continuous stills producing thousands of gallons a day never made it into the papers. The story (link) hints that the agent on vacation was turning a blind eye to liquor production, and that his officious replacement was cracking down with faith-based determination and lusty asset forfeiture, but that the coast will again be clear next Wednesday.

RAIDERS SEIZE MOONSHINE STILL—Mash and Finished Product Found at Pawtucket. A Pawtucket raid in which federal prohibition agents attached to the Providence office, under direction of Chief Raiding Officer Michael A O’Brien, today seized a 100 gallon moonshine still and large quantities of mash and finished product is the 22nd seizure whih the office has effected since John W Morill, administrator in charge of the office, left on his vacation two weeks ago.
As a result of the raids, a report of which is being tabulated by Carl A Nelson, drug store inspector, acting as administrator in the absence of Mr Morrill, 21 Rhode Island men have been taken into custody and arraigned before United States Commissioners on charges of violating the prohibition act.
The number of stills and beer plants uncovered during the raids had not been tabulated by Mr Nelson to-day, but the acting administrator indicated that they would far exceed the number seized by the local office over a similar period a year ago, when, he said to-day, seizures totalled six.
No defendant was found on the raid conducted today, on a two-story dwelling house at the junction of Yale and Notre Dame avenues, Pawtucket, where the agents claim to have seized 47 barrels of moonshine mash and a large quantity of alleged moonshine whiskey.
Four stills uncovered last night by the agents in cellars of two houses on Division Street, Central Falls, were about the filthiest in the experience of agents attached to the local force, it was indicated to-day, the report stating  that quarters where the stills were uncovered were infested with rats and other vermin.
Mr Morrill, who is spending his vacation with members of his family in Maine, is expected to resume his duties in this city next Tuesday. Mr Nelson will leave on his annual leave of two weeks the following day. (Providence, RI Evening Tribune 31 AUG1929  1)

On the same page (link) is a report on the difficulties experienced in collecting war reparations payments from Germany. After Austria and Germany attacked other narcotics-producing nations in 1914 then lost in 1918, every country invaded was counting on German reparations payments provided under the Treaty of Versailles. With that money they then paid a little toward the loans gotten from Uncle Sam while being throttled by the Accursed Hun. Throttler replaced throttlee in the Versailles treaty, yet Germany, now fanatically inspired by christian National Socialism, spent its drug income on political parades and armaments, while demanding everyone else disarm.

Why not delve into what caused the 1929 Crash? Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 does exactly that, matching economic theory and newspaper accounts against stock market reactions and competing theories. It is live on Amazon Kindle for the price of a pint.

Prohibition and The Crash, on Amazon Kindle in 2 languages

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Prohibition and Finance

How many dollars flowed through the illegal liquor, beer & wine business in 1929? Historians assure us that liquor consumption did decrease by as much as 40% under the dry law. Supposing that to be true we could use 60% of the ASL guesstimate as a proxy for the volume of liquids. But making a thing illegal is one of the most effective ways to raise its price. Marijuana prices have fallen by roughly 2 orders of magnitude after decriminalization in some areas, but beer doesn’t grow on bushes.

My estimate after 20 years of gathering figures is that beverages became four times as expensive under prohibition. Applying that multiple to 60% of the guesstimated 1914 liquor total yields 4.2 billion gold dollars. But the U.S. population had grown dramatically between the night of January 16, 1920 and the unleashing of Herbert Hoover and the 5&10 law upon the corn sugar and yeast industry that produced at least 80% and possibly as much as 95% of all the illegal beverage consumed occurred in 1929. Adding the effect of the 14% population growth that decade gives $4.8 billion. So how does that dollar amount compare to the size of the U.S. economy of 1929? (Hint: it was more than the Federal budget–about 5% of GNP). The Wickersham Commission, appointed to downplay the total, came up with a slightly smaller figure. Clark Warburton, the economist who coined “Gross National Product,” came up with a slightly higher figure.

That’s right. Gangland trafficpreneurs had more income from liquor alone than the Federal Government got from corporate and individual income taxes, customs tariffs and the squeeze put on States. God fights on the side with the biggest budget, so of course repeal won, thanks to the Liberal Party repeal plank.

Find out the juicy details behind the mother of all economic collapses. Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 is available in two languages on Amazon Kindle, each at the cost of a pint of craft beer.

Live on Amazon Kindle in 2 languages

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