Talk:Great Depression

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 Definition the severe downturn in economic activity that started in 1929 in Germany and the United States and affected many other countries. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories History, Economics and Business [Categories OK]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English

Good article

I briefly read this article and like most of it.

I am not so sure, but it seems to me I might have detected some "anti-keynesian" bias on it ?

Being a neo-keynesian myself I am not the most impartial person to judge. So I ask the other economists to verify if there is actulaly such a bias in the article and, if so, please remove it to make it "school of thought" neutral.

J. R. Campos 09:13, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

repeated sections

I've deleted what seems to be some repeated material. My apologies if I've deleted any material entirely. This sort of thing gives me a headache-Derek Hodges 17:10, 16 August 2008 (CDT)

Unfinished article

This article has long been left in a startlingly incomplete state. The reader would find it hard to discover the answers to even the most basic of questions: such as what happened to unemployment?, poverty?, bankruptcies?, bank failures?, stock prices?, production?. For an example of what is missing see [1].

Recent events are likely to increase interest in the subject, and - without attempting a direct comparison - it is now important to say enough about the sequence of events to indicate that it was not triggered either by the bursting of a real-estate bubble or by a banking crisis if, as I suspect it was not. This is a job for a historian rather than economist, but it would be a pity to leave it any longer.

I suggest moving much of the economic speculation about causation into a tutorials subpage and using the space for a straightforwatrd statement of what happened. (A lot of the other text could well go onto the related articles subpage, and the bibliograpy should now go onto the bibliography subpage).

Nick Gardner 09:51, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I have now done some of the transfers of secondary material. Nick Gardner 12:16, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

The relation to the crash of '29

Some writers say the depression started in 1928 and triggered the 1929 crash. But according to the St Louis Fed [2] retail sales, industrial output (except house building) and exports increased throughout 1928 and continued to do so in 1929 until the crash - after which they fell.

Can someone put me right on this? It has obvious implications for the question of causation. Nick Gardner 11:27, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Restructuring and rewriting

I have introduced a new paragraph structure, and I plan to move some of the existing material into it. However, I plan to drastically shorten and sharpen the New Deal material, much of which is duplicated in the New Deal article. I also expect to jettison most (but not all) of the text on Keynesianism and the gold standard. Does anyone object?-Nick Gardner 07:05, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I now plan to build up the timelines and tutorials subpages as a basis for - eventually - a readable non-technical main page. Readers (if any) are invited to comment (preferably before altering the text). Nick Gardner 22:42, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

This is turning out to require more editing than I anticipated. I have discovered so many inaccuracies, omissions and misleading statements that it may be that a complete rewrite will be necessary. Nick Gardner 15:47, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Nick, it a "Great" big topic. Kudos to you for your undying will to persevere on re-working this. I have some comments to make re the first two sentences. First, I get tripped up when a writer has to footnote the first three words of an essay (yes, I contributed to that footnote; nice footnote, btw). Nomenclature is a necessary part of this article, and it's best that the discussion about nomenclature is in a footnote, but I question whether or not there is a better place to put it, say at the first mention of "Great Depression" in the body of the article. Second, I disagree with this clause: "It was the unintended consequence of practices that were unquestioned at the time of its outset..." Economists, social critics, and politicians had been questioning since the 1810s the practices of industrial capitalism (and even earlier, I suspect, in Britain). I tend to believe that by 1929, most capitalists & economists were of the opinion that capitalism is prone to expansions and contractions; so claiming that a depression was an "unintended consequence" is the same as saying "prosperity is an unintended consequence" of the capitalist economy. Remember Schumpeter. I've nothing to add about the remainder of that paragraph. Keep it up, Thanks Nick. Russell D. Jones 22:06, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
I should also add a suggestion: Russell D. Jones 22:39, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
The Great Depression was a global economic recession, the longest and deepest downturn in modern economic history. It was caused in part by the cyclical nature of industrial capitalism, in part by financial practices unique to the 1920s, and in part by global economic structures also unique to the 1920s. A critical examination of the Great Depression's causes has influenced both economic theory and economic management.
Thank you for your encouragement and for your suggestions, Russell. I accept both of your criticisms, and I have acted upon them. I do not want to express an opinion on causes in this article, but rather to attempt an objective account of the arguments that have been advanced by the eminent economists who have studied the question. I accept that introducing that "unquestioned practices" sentence at that stage unnecessarily pre-empted the issue of causation, but had I intended to make the point that the policy-makers at the time had acted in accordance with the "received wisdom" of the time - and I am inclined to do so later in the article. Would you disagree with that? Nick Gardner 11:10, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see. I like the approach. It seems that this article is more about the impact of the Great Depression on economics and economic theory than it is about the Great Depression itself. ..... I don't know. I'm just concerned about an intense focus on economics. It was called the "Depression" in part because men suffered from a psychological depression, believing that their hardship was the result of their personal moral failure to be a man. That's hardly economic.
So the intention here is that this article is to be about economic policy during the GD? Russell D. Jones 19:39, 2 February 2009 (UTC)


Nick, This cluster is looking great. I even managed to link to it from warfarin :) Chris Day 08:49, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

English Variant

Nick is this article using American or British English? The Variant is not set in the metadata. Russell D. Jones 22:23, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

German Hyperinflation

I don't agree with Mr. Castillo's (a third-year business economics major at UC Santa Barbara) assessment of the hyperinflation. Using 1914 as a base, the German mark had inflated to a value 1,475 times its 1914 value by January 1923. But just a year later and following the Ruhr Crisis, which the Germans met through a general strike and through paying striking workers by printing money, the German mark was 1,260,000,000,000 times what it was in 1914. Rondo Cameron used a different benchmark, but with similar results. In January 1923, the exchange rate between the mark and the US dollar was 17,792 to 1; by November 1923, it was 4.2 trillion to 1. Clearly, it was the Ruhr crisis, general strike, and poor German monetary policy during the crisis that caused the hyperinflation; not the general reparations situation (of course without the reparations situation, there would be not Ruhr Crisis).<ref>Bradford J. Delong, Slouching Towards Utopia?: The Economic History of the Twentieth Century, (February 1997),; and Rondo Cameron, A Concise Economic History of the World from Paleolithic Times to the Present, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 351-352.</ref> Russell D. Jones 23:33, 7 February 2009 (UTC)