A Puritan in Babylon: The Story of Calvin Coolidge

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXI
Being an Intermezzo While Only the Stage Hands Work

THE four years from March 4, 1925, to March 4, 1929, marked the years of the big bull market--the Coolidge market--the era which preceded the crash of the speculative boom. Calvin Coolidge will be remembered as the last President of the old era. It is a vital part of the Coolidge story to know something of the causes that made for the vast credit expansion that produced the boom of those years. The boom had its roots in many causes hereinbefore set down. Expansion of credit seems a primal cause. But perhaps it also was a symptom. Foreign loans which were draining money and credit from American industry also were merely significant episodes, not first causes. Bank expansion made phenomenal increases in loanable funds. Naturally the outlet was Wall Street, and a glutted Wall Street. It sent much of these savings of America abroad in 1914 and '15 and '16, and thereby somewhat we were drawn into the War. But war finance and war profits were only symptoms. America's real troubles just then seemed to grow out of unsound money market policy and unsound tariff policy-- rather than failure of production and distribution.

According to the tables in "Recent Economic Changes in the United States,"1 the output per wage earner in the ten years preceding 1929, grew rapidly. Frederick C. Mills, of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research, definitely indicates the belief that the output per

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1
This book contains a report of the Committee on Recent Economic Changes of the President's Conference on Unemployment, Herbert Hoover, chairman, including the reports of a special staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Incorporated; is a two volume work carefully, conservatively planned and executed. It seems to be a standard source book for those who would study the period dosing with the crash of the late Twenties--McGraw-Hill Company, 1929.

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