Business & Finance: Bankers v. Panic

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In Grand Central, Manhattan, Sydney Zollicoffer Mitchell dismounted from the Twentieth Century with a bad cold, went quickly to his office in the 2 Rector St. building. He telephoned a large Stock Exchange house, said he thought there would be trouble but "just call on me for anything you want." A few hours later stock of his gigantic Electric Bond & Share which had recently reached a high of 189 sold for 91. A few days later, it sold at 50.

John Davison Rockefeller Jr. was in Detroit attending Edison celebrations. It was said that he had been quietly liquidating for some weeks.

E. H. H. Simmons, President of the New York Stock Exchange, was honeymooning in Honolulu.

Arthur Cutten was reported in Atlantic City whither he is wont to go when he desires to be nearer to the corner of Wall and Broad Streets than his own Chicago. Whether or not he, "biggest bull," had been engaged in a month-long duel with Jesse Livermore, famed bear, was not a matter of public knowledge. No one could quite believe that Mr. Livermore was, in storybook fashion, tsar of a band of bears which had fanatically obeyed his orders for two months. But certain it seemed that a colossal effort to reduce the price of stocks had had masterful direction, beginning with the selling of U. S. securities by the French Government and other European investors weeks ago.

Promptly at 10 a. m. on Thursday Oct. 24, sounded the gong of the New York

Stock Exchange and 6,000 shares of Montgomery Ward changed hands at 83—its 1929 high having been 156.

For so many months so many people had saved money and borrowed money and borrowed on their borrowings to possess themselves of the little pieces of paper by virtue of which they became partners in U. S. Industry. Now they were trying to get rid of them even more frantically than they had tried to get them. Stocks bought without reference to their earnings were being sold without reference to their dividends. At around noon there came the no-bid menace. Even in a panic-market, someone must buy the "dumped" shares, but stocks were dropping from 2 to 10 points between sales—losing from 2 to 10 points before a buyer could be found for them. Sound stocks at shrunk prices—and nobody to buy them. It looked as if U. S. Industries' little partners were in a fair way to bankrupt the firm.

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