"We have discussed the Federal Reserve and the mechanism by which it prints our money and then charges us 5% annually for the privilege of using it. What we haven't discussed is how the Fed uses lines of credit with its chartered banks to exercise control over our economy and our government.
"The Roaring Twenties, the decade that led up to the Crash, was a time of wealth and excess, and despite caution of the dangers of speculation, many believed that the market could sustain high price levels. Shortly before the crash, economist Irving Fisher famously proclaimed, "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." The optimism and financial gains of the great bull market were shattered on Black Thursday, when share prices on the NYSE collapsed. Stock prices fell on that day and they continued to fall, at an unprecedented rate, for a full month.
The October 1929 crash came during a period of declining real estate values in the United States (which peaked in 1925) near the beginning of a chain of events that led to the Great Depression, a period of economic decline in the industrialized nations.
Notice that A Real Estate Collapse preceded the Stock Market collapse by 4 years (sound familiar?). The fact that the real-estate market collapsed means nothing without understanding the underlying structure of the real-estate boom. Historians blame "overbuilding", land speculation and a hurricane in Florida for what was a National collapse in property values. They blame the borrower.
Then, as now, developers never speculated with their own money. They borrowed it from their local bank, who borrowed it from the Federal Reserve. The Fed controlled the boom and bust cycle by lowering and then raising the interest rates.
"The recovery from the 1920-1921 depression had proceeded smoothly with moderate price increases. In early 1923 the Fed sold some securities and increased the discount rate from 4 percent as they believed the recovery was too rapid. However, by the fall of 1923 there were some signs of a business slump. Between April and August of 1924 the Fed reduced the discount rate to 3 percent in a series of three separate steps.
"By the summer of 1924 the business slump was over and the economy again began to grow rapidly. By the mid-1920s real estate speculation had arisen in many urban areas in the United States and especially in Southeastern Florida. Land prices were rising sharply. Stock market prices had also begun rising more rapidly. The Fed expressed some worry about these developments and in 1926 sold some securities to gently slow the real estate and stock market boom. Amid hurricanes and supply bottlenecks the Florida real estate boom collapsed but the stock market boom continued." (source)
By controlling interest rates during the 1920s, The Federal Reserve had total control over the boom-bust cycle in the real-estate market. In essence, it was a sucker's game. Developers went in with the expectation that buyers with easy cash would be ready to purchase the finished homes or commercial developments upon completion. By raising interest rates, the Fed did end the speculation, but they also made it impossible for builders to sell-off their remaining inventory. Unemployment and bankruptcies followed.
The question remains, why would the Fed pursue such a suicidal course in the first place? It doesn't make economic sense and it sure wasn't in the National Interest. Some have deduced that the Federal Reserve wanted to foreclose in order to take over the assets at a discount. While this may or may not be true, a far more sinister explanation is lurking in the shadows." MORE