Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Museum of American Finance

The museum knew this. Why didn't we?
Museum of American Finance: Why weren't we talking about all this back then?

Liquidity might have prevented the depression
Museum of American Finance: Liquidity might have prevented the great depression.

In percentage terms, 87's crash fell further than 29's.
Museum of American Finance: In percentage terms, 87's crash fell further than 29's.
However, in after 87's, the government provided liquidity (cash)
to the economy, and a depression was avoided.

The inherent vice of capialism (Winston Churchill quote)
This quote makes me angry.

Museum of American Finance:
I rode the M (I never ride the M, always the L) downtown and found this amazing museum. I know nothing about money or finances or any of that crap (I own ten shares of Starbucks and have a Roth IRA) yet, because of all this insanity (777 drop, 700 billion plan rejected, elections, etc) I found the museum enthralling.

It had everything: the history of this country's use of cons and paper money (started with beaver pelts and oyster shells), video interviews with modern-day entrepreneurs (like the founders of Zipcar, jetblue, and some boutique in Harlem), the history of the stock market, what is a bond?, ticker machines, Fortune magazine (which was founded in 1930, the year after the 1929 stock market crash. Who knew?) and bunches of other stuff I barely grasped the concept of.

While I was looking at a case describing stock trading via posters and objects, a man approached the case, pointed out the hand-held devices and told his friend he used to use those. Then he walked over the bull metal sculpture that used to be in the Stock Exchange's "luncheon room" and told his friend that as folks would leave the room, they'd rub the bull for good luck. I guess he used to work on Wall Street.

And now, thanks to the museum, I know what "bull" and "bear" mean. Bull means the market is going up, because a bull uses it's horns to push in an upward direction. A bear means the market is going down, because when a bear fights, he swipes his paw downwards. Stupid, right?

And the 3-minute video on the '87 crash was very interesting. I watched it 3 times and kept going back and forth between that case and the 1929 crash case. And, I learned, there was a 1907 crash after which JP Morgan got his rich friends to put 25 million into the economy to prevent future disaster. So, 1907: rich people helped, avoided problems; 1929: gov't didn't help, problems; 1987: gov't helped: avoided problems (to a degree. There was no depression at least); 2008: don't know what gov't is gonna do.

Ooh, and you wanna know why Washington DC is the capital of the US, and not NYC? Alexander Hamilton made a deal with someone to allow the gov't to assume all the debt of the country in exchange for moving the capitol.

I have no new information from what I knew last Friday. No comment.

On a brighter note, I'll be doing a play Oct 17, 18 and 19 written by Pope John Paul when he was a youngin'. (Jesus Christ Superstar and now the Pope.) I got the offer out of the blue this afternoon over the phone while in the museum. I play an unhappily married man in the second act of the 3-act play.

Personal Space yellow warning tape
Saw this on the walk back home tonight on 14th street. Funny, right?

1 comment:

Laura :) said...

Hooray on the new gig!