Black Monday

Published: 1987
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, speaks to reporters at the White House 6/2/1987 after President Reagan announced that he will replace Paul Volcker (Background) who resigned as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Ken Herrera: For many Americans, the major worldwide events of 1987 were overshadowed by personal concerns over their own and America’s economic future, concerns that were heightened by the Wall-Street crash of '87.

UPI Radio’s Business Editor Barbara Porter looks back …

"(Crowd noises.)"

Barbara Porter: "No one quite expected what happened to the stock market in 1987. Not even the most astute analysts could fathom the charge of the bulls that started from the opening bell on the opening day of the new year.

"On January 5th, the bull shattered all old records with the Dow climbing to a high of 1971. It was a hint of what was to come.

"In a giddy, untethered climb, the Dow reached heights only mentioned in joking, breaking 2700 finally. The astounding strength of the bull market kept optimism flowing about the economy, but there were signs the market couldn't sustain its highs; none that the foundation would crumble completely, though, and that made October 19th, 1987 that much more shocking.

"It was called Black Monday. Many words were used to describe the day the Dow lost 508 points, like meltdown, collapse. The markets went on shortened hours to help play catch-up with the frenzy of paperwork that had backed up. An investigation was launched by the White House and the SEC in the computer-driven trading.

"The markets did finally settle down, but a year's worth of rallies had all but been forgotten in one dizzying descent.

"I'm Barbara Porter."