• Brett Schafer

A History of Financial Markets Season One: 1900 – 1909

A History of Financial Markets is a podcast for any and all investors or people interested in history. The show aims to cover all the main events and historical figures from finance throughout history. Season one starts with the 1900 – 1909 period in the United States. Read below to get the summary of each episode. Thank you in advance for listening!

(You can follow the show on your podcast player of choice to immediately know when future seasons drop)

Episode one: Markets at the Turn of the 20th Century


The first episode of this season goes through how financial markets operated around the year 1900 (spoiler alert: it was a lot different than today). We cover how the New York Stock Exchange worked, what Trust companies were, the Northern Pacific Railroad stock battle, and the banking system.

New York Stock Exchange, 1907 - Stock Image - C014/0517 - Science Photo  Library

The NYSE, Circa 1900 – 1910

Episode Two: 1903 – 1905


We keep chugging along in episode two, hitting the midpoint of the decade. In this episode, we cover the Rich Man’s Panic of 1903, Curb Markets, and the Investment Bank Kuhn & Loeb. We also discuss big events from this three-year stretch including the financing of the Panama Canal.

The New York Curb Market… Which has No Organization Whatever”: The  Enclosure of New York's Last Outdoor Stock Market, 1900-1921 — The Gotham  Center for New York City History

The New York Curb Market. Yes, this literally meant selling stocks on the curb.

Episode Three: Standard Oil, U.S. Steel, and J.P. Morgan


Episode three covers three of the biggest and most influential companies of the period. We go through how big Standard Oil was in the first decade of the 20th century, and how rich it made John D. Rockefeller, its founder. We then do the same for U.S. Steel and J.P. Morgan & Co.

The 10 Richest People of All Time | Money

Andrew Carnegie, the biggest beneficiary of the U.S. Steel merger. It made him the richest man in the world for a time.

Episode Four: Intro to the Panic of 1907


In episode four we get into the meat of the first season: The Panic of 1907. We cover the slow cracks that led to the meltdown in the Spring of 1907 and why the money markets started tightening in the summer of 1907.

Panic of 1907 - Wikipedia

The Dow Jones during the Panic of 1907.

Episode Five: The Panic of 1907 Part 1


In episode five we cover some of the main figures who caused the financial meltdown in the fall of 1907: Charles Morse and the Heinze Brothers. The episode ends on October 21st, right in the heart of the Panic.

Walkabout: Charles W. Morse: King of New York | Brownstoner

Charlatan Charles Morse, otherwise known as the “Ice King.”

Episode Six: The Panic of 1907 Part 2


Episode six hits the meat of the Panic, the week of October 20th through the 25th. In this episode, we are introduced to the Knickerbocker Trust, Benjamin Strong, and the Trust Company of America.

Benjamin Strong Jr. - Wikipedia

Benjamin Strong, one of J.P. Morgan’s employees and future chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Episode Seven: The end of the Panic of 1907


In this episode, we discuss how and why the financial meltdown was halted on November 4th. Also covered is the Tennessee Iron & Coal Company and why U.S. Steel had to become part of the solution for ending the panic.

Panic of 1907 - Wikipedia

Scenes from the Panic of 1907.

Episode Eight: 1908, 1909, and a preview for Season 2


To wrap up season one, we take a look at why the Panic of 1907 spurred the creation of the Federal Reserve, and why J.P. Morgan was the scapegoat for the crisis. We also cover big events from 1908 and 1909.

J.P. Morgan - Life, Family & Philanthropy - Biography

J.P. Morgan, the financier so powerful he acted like Wall Street’s personal Federal Reserve.

#Finance #History

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