Great Depression

Definition of 'Great Depression'


An economic recession that began on October 29, 1929, following the crash of the U.S. stock market. The Great Depression originated in the United States, but quickly spread to Europe and the rest of the world. Lasting nearly a decade, the Depression caused massive levels of poverty, hunger, unemployment and political unrest.

Investopedia explains 'Great Depression'


The NYSE crashed on October 24, 1929, a day known as Black Thursday. Thousands of people lost nearly the entire value of their investments, leaving them with next to nothing. The trend continued and the following Tuesday, Black Tuesday, the DJIA dropped 12%, marking the start of the great depression. International trade declined, along with personal income, tax revenues and product prices.

Many economists believed the Great Depression was evidence that capitalism, when left unchecked, is a dangerous ideology. This caused some nations to change their political structures, such as Germany, who adopted fascism.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Federal Reserve Note

    The most accurate term used to describe the paper currency (dollar bills) circulated in the United States. These Federal Reserve Notes are printed by the U.S. Treasury at the instruction of the Federal Reserve member banks, who also act as the clearinghouse for local banks that need to increase or reduce their supply of cash on hand.
  2. Benchmark Bond

    A bond that provides a standard against which the performance of other bonds can be measured. Government bonds are almost always used as benchmark bonds. Also referred to as "benchmark issue" or "bellwether issue".
  3. Market Capitalization

    The total dollar market value of all of a company's outstanding shares. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying a company's shares outstanding by the current market price of one share. The investment community uses this figure to determine a company's size, as opposed to sales or total asset figures.
  4. Oil Reserves

    An estimate of the amount of crude oil located in a particular economic region. Oil reserves must have the potential of being extracted under current technological constraints. For example, if oil pools are located at unattainable depths, they would not be considered part of the nation's reserves.
  5. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  6. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
Trading Center