Silver Thursday

DEFINITION of 'Silver Thursday'

A steep fall in the price of silver that occurred on Thursday March 27, 1980. The sharp drop, on Silver Thursday, was triggered by a failed attempt to corner the silver market and it led to massive panic in other commodities.

BREAKING DOWN 'Silver Thursday'

The attempt to corner the silver market was made by brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt and Herbert Hunt. The sharp sell-off occurred once the two men were unable to meet various margin calls that were caused by short-term weakness in the silver price. A group of U.S. banks needed to step in with a $1.1 billion line of credit, which helped bring stability back into the futures markets.

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