Forty Years of American Finance: A Short Financial History of the Government and People of the United States since the Civil War, 1865-1907

By Alexander Dana Noyes | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
WORLD-WIDE RISE IN PRICES

IT is not always easy to classify a year such as 1903, and to assign its proper place in economic history. That it was merely an interlude in the cycle of prosperity, was proved by subsequent events. Wall Street -- including both the every-day speculator and what is known as "High Finance" -- undoubtedly drew the inference that 1903 was a "panic year," similar to such a period as 1893, and that the easy recovery from the set-back, and the quick return of prosperity and confidence, provided conclusive testimony to the fact that, after all, economic law had changed and that the real economic penalty for financial blunders and excesses need be feared no longer. It was in fact a very noticeable phenomenon, in the discussions even of experienced bankers at that period, that the occurrence of another panic like that of 1893, with its runs of depositors, its general suspension of bank payments, its recourse to clearing-house loan certificates, and its premium on currency, was accepted as impossible. Economists who did not take

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