Monday, June 18, 2012

Bad Timing in Life.

The Financial Review, 1908
Annual--Feb., by William B. Dana Company,

A note to a small chart published on page 15 of The Financial Review's year-end retrospective for 1907, called the "February Annual," mentions that a revised estimate for the stock of gold coin and currency in the U.S. had been "adopted" on August 1, 1907, less than three months before the Wall Street implosion that began in October. We are told this downward revision in the available bullion supply represented $135, 000,000, although it isn't clear what relevance this has to a supply as marked on the static date of December 31, which is what the chart indicates.

Such an unplanned or anticipated reduction in the available money supply may not have played a causal role in starting the panic, but it surely made the job of mastering it that much harder---whether for public officials, or even private bankers.

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