Causes of the Great Depression

Causes of the Great Depression

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  • Stock Market Speculation
  • Trust me, Johnny. We could get filthy rich off of this stuff!
  • Excessive Use of Credit
  • What do you mean you can't pay your credit off? Now I can't offer any more money!
  • Overproduction of Consumer Goods
  • Let's make so many goods that people won't even know what to do with them!
  • People believed they could get rich by "playing the market". Borrowing money to purchase stocks, once the market collapsed people were unable to pay off their loans and debts.
  • Weak Farm Economy
  • I just can't keep up with the demand, and a drought already destroyed half my crop.
  • People thought that the economic boom was permanent, leading to heavy spending through credit and loans. Once the market crashed, people became unable to pay these debts leading to banks failing.
  • Government Policies
  • We're doing great!
  • Improved productivity an the use of credit led to too many consumer goods being made, which, when combined with unchanging wages, could no longer be purchased and make profit for the company.
  • Global Economic Problems
  • 1920's prosperity didn't reach agricultural sectors. Overproduction and low prices from WW1, and severe weather and droughts in the 1930's made it more difficult to produce.
  • High tariffs helped industries, but hurt farmers and international traders. Attempting to preserve the gold standard led to people trying to take money out of banks, leading to bank failures.
  • Now I can't pay for my crop.
  • US insistence on loan repayment from the aftermath of WW1 led to economies weakening in Europe, contributing to a global depression.
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