On this day in economic and financial history...
A growing bearishness took hold on Wall Street today in 1929, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average
All eyes were on United States Steel
The New York Times reported of Sept. 27, 1929's drop that "the money situation ... is more confused now than at any time this year." However, the day's sell-off was greeted with equanimity by most Wall Street traders, who told the Times that "the distress selling ... was about complete. It is expected that there will be some minor liquidation this morning because of the large number of margin calls."
Despite the turbulence of the day, "Stock exchange brokers were congratulating themselves at the comparatively small number of margin calls ... this was due to demands that customers keep their margins at 30% to 50%. Even in such markets as those of the last few days ... the customer with a 50% margin has little to worry about."
How wrong they were.
A major acquisition
Philip Morris, now Altria
General Foods has an interesting history. Founder C. W. Post founded the company after a stay in John Harvey Kellogg's sanitarium. Kellogg, apparently a firm believer in the curative powers of breakfast, inspired Post to create a grain-based coffee substitute called Postum because the latter felt that caffeine was unhealthy. Kellogg's recently developed cornflakes also inspired Post to create Grape Nuts.
Happy Birthday, Big G
In other news, Google
Google's annual revenue was only $220,000 a little over year later, in 1999. In 2000, its annual revenues were $19.1 million. By 2003, it was generating nearly a billion dollars in revenue per year. The company continues to grow rapidly in all directions and has earned $43.2 billion over the past two months. All other search engines have long since been left in the dust.
Happy birthday, Google -- no matter what day it really is.
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