Great Depression

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Decade long (1930-40) US depression considered to be the worst in living memory because of its devastating worldwide impact. Though its precise causes are disputed, it is generally believed to have begun on the Black Monday (October 28, 1929). On that day, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by 13 percent after the Federal Reserve System (The Fed) attempted to raise interest rates to discourage stock speculation following the stockmarket boom of 1920s. Between October 29 and November 13 (when stock prices fell by 40 percent) over $30 billion disappeared from the US economy. During the period it lasted, some 9,000 banks declared bankruptcies and wiped out 9 million savings accounts, 86,000 businesses closed doors and (while wages fell by an average of 60 percent) unemployment went up to 25 percent resulting in 15 million jobless Americans.
Great Depression is believed to have contributed to Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, and thus sowed the seeds of second World War.

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