It’s Raining Stockbrokers

Wall Street Stock Market Collapse of 1929


Fifth Estate # 299, October 22, 1979

Wall Street Stock Market Collapse, October 29, 1929-1979

On the day it rained stockbrokers, meteorologists debated the causes of this strange, nearly unprecedented weather. One claimed that stockbrokers represented a dense, heavy element which would continue to fall, down through the Earth and out the other side, eventually creating monstrous, irrepressible explosions in the center of the planet as they returned along their trajectory with the force of gravity and met themselves coming back from the other direction. Another said that there was nothing unusual and nothing to be concerned about. Stockbrokers rained every fifty years in regular, predictable cycles. Still, another denied that it was raining stockbrokers at all, and attributed the sightings of plummeting stockbrokers to a form of mass hysteria.

Another asked the question: Why stockbrokers and not, say, insurance and real estate agents, finance and loan executives, bankers? The smell of ozone, and the electricity in the air, the thunder, the stockbrokers crashing merrily to the pavement…

We sat in the window and watched the day turn darker and darker, saw the clouds burst, saw the hapless stockbrokers throwing themselves from the towers of the stock exchange, the national bank, the corn exchange. It rained and rained and rained…

50th Anniversary Wall Street Stock Market Collapse, October 29, 1929-1979