The best and the brightest minds keep telling us that everything will be OK so long as we follow instructions. Unfortunately, they said the same thing as we headed into the Great Depression.
In this terrifying video we can see Irving Fisher, arguably the most influential economist of the 1920s, reassuring a worried public that “this country is fundamentally sound.”
“The technical situation in the stock market is not going to prevent the great improvement, the progressive improvement in our prosperity,” he said just as we slipped over the edge into the Great Depression.
A bit of background. Fisher’s proposal to use the consumer price index as the guide for monetary policy was more or less adopted by the Federal Reserve, ushering the economy into the economic boom of the nineteen twenties and greatly influencing the monetarist school of thought that later emerged.
The Great Depression at least temporarily did great damage to his reputation and his personal fortune. His predictions that a recovery was just around the corner were widely mocked when people could muster themselves from hunger to engage in humour. He had invested money borrowed from his sister in the stock market, and lost a great fortune when it crashed.
Anyway, here’s the video of Fisher telling America that everything would be all right.
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