➭ The Great Depression: A Diary Author Benjamin Roth – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk

The Great Depression: A Diary When The Stock Market Crashed In 1929, Benjamin Roth Was A Young Lawyer In Youngstown, Ohio After He Began To Grasp The Magnitude Of What Had Happened To American Economic Life, He Decided To Set Down His Impressions In His Diary.This Collection Of Those Entries Reveals Another Side Of The Great Depression One Lived Through By Ordinary, Middle Class Americans, Who On A Daily Basis Grappled With A Swiftly Changing Economy Coupled With Anxiety About The Unknown Future Roth S Depiction Of Life In Time Of Widespread Foreclosures, A Schizophrenic Stock Market, Political Unrest And Mass Unemployment Seem To Speak Directly To Readers Today.

10 thoughts on “The Great Depression: A Diary

  1. says:

    I suspect there are few people who will love this book as much as I did It is essentially a financial affairs diary kept by an attorney living in Youngstown, Ohio during the Great Depression As an attorney with a thirsty interest in investment theory and an indecent obsession with all things Great Depression, this book was really right up my alley.What made this book remarkable was the author s uncanny insight into investment theory Over the course of a single decade the 1930 s he singlehandedly developed the same theories it has taken professional financial analysts and economists decades to figure out Quite simply, he learned from his and his clients experience of living through the great depression and determined the most advantageous ways to invest through high highs and low lows of the economic cycle I was fascinated to watch his really very simple theories unfold as he observed and evaluated what was happening around him His bits of wisdom included 1 People grow their wealth by buying assets when they are CHEAP, not soaring 2 Therefore, everyone should keep 40 50% of their assets liquid meaning in investment grade bonds or treasuries and the rest of their wealth in high quality stocks for us, think index funds, like SP 500 index 3 By keeping some assets liquid, you put yourself...

  2. says:

    So torn about this book It s such a wonderful concept, and it covers ten years of U.S world events during the Great Depression Because it was a man s recounting of what he observed and how he felt about economic events, there wasn t a lot of meat to the book There wasn t much compelling me to finish it, but I did just to see if of a personal narrative developed He points out some very good ideas about how to stay above water during a financial crisis, for example always having some liquid assets available so you can use cash to buy whatever you need, rather than tying it up in the bank I found especially interesting his observations about WWI and the impending WWII What I didn t like were the distracting e...

  3. says:

    Who would have thought that cash was trash during a depression Well it is if you can t get it out of the bank People sold their passbook savings accounts for 60 on the dollar Government bonds were the only useful form of liquid purchasing power A fantastic account.

  4. says:

    Reading historical diaries is important for internalizing how uncertain reality is Read and internalize this It is likely that a new depression or at least 2008 will happen in your lifetime so be prepared for the randomness such events entail.Reading this book Benjamin Roth quickly earns your respect as a level headed observer None the less time after time he gets things wrong For some time he thought the depression would only last for a year or two Time after time he finds a great investment, that he would buy if only he had cash and then its value plummets Everything dropped in value for a year so it looked like a great opportunity for buying, but next year they dropped by 60% and so on.A paraphrase quote the stock market has made 8 fake starts upwards, and then reached new lows Think about it how could anyone know when to buy the super cheap assets If you could just ride out the depression, you would make a 400% profit, but stuff seemed so random, and there was a feasible risk of revolution Some random new perspectives I got from the book Japan attacked China in 1931 likely because they thought the west was occupied by the depression, so it was a good time to attack In 1932 he guessed the US might...

  5. says:

    I read this book as part of a self imposed homework assignment to learn about financial history The book s suggestion came from reading a smaller work by William Bernstein on personal finance After reading about the dizzying heights of market speculation in Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor, this book was a sobering reminder of the necessity to live within one s own means and to invest in a diversified portfolio for the long term I think this diary is extremely relevant and strangely comforting for the average American investor Roth s personal accounts highlight many of the same confusions about finance and worries about the future that we have today He writes honestly as he tries to understand the the psychology of investors, structural problems of the 1920 s boom economy , an...

  6. says:

    I found this a fascinating read mostly There are entries that perhaps would have been better left out and they bordered on tedious I find books about the Depression tend to fall into 2 categories the black and white image of depressed poverty or the glories of the...

  7. says:

    It is hard to like a book like this The flaws seem to vastly outnumber the good parts but that gives a somewhat skewed perspective I didn t like this book but I d still recommend others to read the first 100 150 pages or so, which is the heart of the depression The remainder of the book is about the years of the New Deal when things are okay though not necessarily great and the Republican author mostly complains about Roosevelt s policies The most interesting parts were about the cavalcade of bank closures and the impacts that had on the communities It is also surprisingly optimistic No doubt a large part of that is because the author had a job even if it didn t always pay well , was never foreclosed, etc But there s little of the doom gloom I usually associate with the Great Depression.It is one man s diary with an exclusive focus on financial stuff over the course of a decade It gets repetitive It doesn t start until 1931 a full year and a half after the crash, so it misses some of the best part It is a...

  8. says:

    This book is the diary of a man who was a lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio during and after the Great Depression The man who wrote it is trying to do two things as he writes First, make sense of the depression, try and figure out why it happened and when or if it will end and two, analyze how to invest during a depression of this magnitude Some takeaways 1 Lawyers did not do very well during the Great Depression People didn t have money, businesses were cratering, real estate wasn t selling, so there was little work for lawyers, especially independent lawyers.2 Real estate was a very bad investment in the Great Depression, unless you had cash to buy at the bottom of the market, which few did, and calling the bottom was impossible when it actually happened People had no money to make house payments so many fell behind, but the cost of getting them removed was great and there was no one else to rent to, so people with lots of real estate especially if they were bought as investments ended up owing taxes on the properties with no income which caused very great problems The problems got so bad that owners were razing buildings to reduce their tax burdens.3 Mr Roth believes that there was good money to be made at the bottoming out of the stock market because the companies that would survive were great values There were some problems however First,...

  9. says:

    This classic book is a precious diary starting in 1931 of a young lawyer, Benjamin Roth, from Youngstown, Ohio His notes provide a vivid picture into the times of the great depression and the events leading into World War II The interesting part is that if you were to erase the dates and just read the content of many of the entries in the diary you will be shocked to find out many of the same themes you encounter today Even surprising is Benjamin Roth s lament of people not learning from the past mistakes of the depression of 1893 or 1873 From political polarization to real estate speculation to Wall Street s excesses to overbuilding, you will read through some common themes that have been a landmark of human folly throughout the modern era The diary also provides great insight into the tough daily life in America during the depression years Whats hea...

  10. says:

    During the great depression, banks fearing a bank run held onto their deposits So if you had money in the bank, you couldn t withdraw it People were selling their bank pass books for 60 cents on the dollar in order to get their hands on cash Real estate investors with hotels and other buildings tore down the structures this is so that they could lower the assessed value and afford the property tax payments Work for all types of people including lawyers dried up Stocks took a beating and didn t recover for almost a decade It was a brutal and hopeless time.This book recounts the days, weeks and years that made up the depression from the perspective of a sole practitioner lawyer Benjamin Roth in the then prosperous town of Youngstown, Ohio, in the region where the burgeoning US steel industry was based Roth s diary recounts the events of the day including stock prices of leading companies and the fate of local banks.If you are a student of economic history or the stock mar...

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