It's raining stockbrokers

It seems to be common knowledge that several stockbrokers and investors practiced the swandive from the fifth floor windows of their Wall Street offices, one black October day in 1929.

Did this really happen? How come you never hear anybody say how many people actually commited suicide after the market crashed? Was it just one or two or was Wall Street littered with bloody, pinstriped corpses?

I’ve always been skeptical of this one and chalked it up to urban legend status. I’m sure the Crash of '29 inspired some suicides but I find it hard to believe that some broker would be sitting in his office, realize that the market crashed and then immediately think, “Well that’s that. Out the window I go.”

“My hovercraft is full of eels.”

In the movie version of DAMN YANKEES, when Ray Walston (as the Devil) sings the great song about “Those Good Ol’ Days”, one of the lines includes: “the hopes that were dashed/when the stock market crashed.” The visual accompaniment, IIRC, implies a the rainstorm of brokers leaping out of buildings that PapaB evokes.

Always thought it was pretty amusing, but no idea what the reality was.

It’s a better way to go than to first kill your wife, then your kids, then some strangers, before finally getting around to yourself. I think we should be encouraging day traders to self-defenestrate in times of trouble.

The “crash” was a much longer and slower process than we are accustomed to thinking; weeks, indeed, months had gone by before it was quite understood what had happened. No doubt there were a few suicides along the way, but I think I remember reading someplace that there were no actual window jumpers at all.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

My mother, before becomming Mrs. Berry, & producing your SDMB buddy, me, cared for a man who lost his mind due to the crash. He was worth $3 million, but lost 1/3 of it. Too bad he couldn’t enjoy his remaining $2 million! He didn’t jump, but might as well have.


It is a pity indeed. Some wise and brilliant math type can tell us what 2 million is in today’s standards, but at any rate…2 Mil is 2 Mil. Sad.