Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Trying to Keep Smiling in 1931

If you have been reading my favorite blog, you know that in the summer of 1931 The Wall Street Journal was reporting financial catastrophes in Europe and deflation – commodity gluts, falling prices, falling wages – here at home.

How did a magazine such as The New Yorker strive to find a bright side to a bad year? Here are a few quips from Howard Brubaker in the July 25 issue:
A critic complains that the large expenditures authorized by the administration have not as yet resulted in much construction work. Yes, but think how helpful it will be in the depression after next.

Returning from Europe, Dudley Field Malone declares that Europe would have been saved from financial ruin if the President had taken his action a year and a half ago. Now it is too late for Herbycide. [As in President Herby Hoover, get it?]

The President says it is wrong to bet that grain is going down. At a time like this, traders in wheat should grin and bull it.

Meanwhile, Brooks Brothers was keeping a stiff upper lip, as in this ad from the same issue:

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