The Beginning and End of the 2 Great Crashes of the 21st Centuryhttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/03/09/the-beginning-and-end-of-21st-century-crashes.aspx Alex Planes
March 9, 2013
On this day in economic and financial history ...
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) reached the end of its financial crisis bear-market slide on March 9, 2009. This was only the second bear market to destroy more than half of the Dow's value and thus was the second most devastating crash in Dow history, behind only that which began the Great Depression. It also became the second most volatile bear market in history, with the exception of the very brief crash of 1987 -- an average trading day during the financial crisis slide saw the Dow's change by an average of 1.51% in either direction.
The causes and consequences of this collapse continue to be debated and explored years later, and investors remain on edge, the memory of wealth destruction fresh in their minds. Nearly four years to the day after the crash ended, the Dow surpassed its previous heights, returning to levels first reached in 2007. Will this new level endure? Only time will tell.
Click here to see an in-depth timeline of the financial-crisis crash, from the early warning signs to the first days of recovery.
Wealth of Nations
Smith put forth the concept of gross domestic product as a measurement of national wealth, supported a division of labor into specialist fields for greater productivity, recognized the two-way benefits of trade, and identified the underlying efficiency in the apparent chaos of free markets. These are only some of the key elements of Smith's 950-page magnum opus. Few (if any) economics texts come close to matching it in importance, with the possible exception of John Maynard Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.
Barbie girl in a Barbie world
Barbie was America's first mass-produced toy doll, and she caught on quickly with girls across the country. Barbie surpassed $1 billion in annual sales for Mattel in 1993, and since her debut, more than 800 million dolls have been sold around the world. Barbie also inspires budding fashion designers before they move on to runway stardom, and these designers in turn have provided inspiration for some of the more than 1 billion fashion items that have been created for the Barbie brand since 1959.
Several years after Barbie's debut, Hasbro launched the G.I. Joe line of action figures to capture the male half of the doll-buying market. This line also wound up surpassing $1 billion in annual sales by the 1990s.
Barbie isn't without her controversies, though. Her impossible proportions have led to some complaints that the doll fosters an unhealthy body image among young girls. Ironically, Barbie's birthday is celebrated less than a week after the end of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week -- which itself occurs about a month after National Pie Day. Only in America.