Living with credit

Emily’s list: ‘Black Tuesday’ and the Great Depression edition

Emily Crone

Today marks an important anniversary. This date in 1929 was when The New York Stock Exchange crashed and began The Great Depression. There was plenty of wealth floating around in the Roaring Twenties, but the bull market came to an end on Oct. 29, a day now called “Black Tuesday.”


The consequent slump was devastating for businesses and consumers, and didn’t really end until the massive government stimulus in the form of World War II.

Our latest recession has been constantly compared to The Great Depression. While this one wasn’t quite as damaging, it had similar effects: unemployment, low stock prices, bank failures, difficulty securing credit, the closing of businesses and more.

Those who lived through it remained cautious with money. I have heard some remark (and have seen myself) that people who lived during The Great Depression were frugal and big savers for the rest of their lives due to fears of another crash, and some even stayed wary of banks.

I think my generation has also learned lasting lessons from this recession. I was fortunate that I got out of school just before the bust and had a good job, but I know many people who got out of school in the midst of it and just couldn’t find work. Some went back to school because they had nothing else to do. Or they got hired, but were soon laid off.

I never thought I would live in a time with massive layoffs, but one by one, I heard stories of friends and acquaintances who were losing their jobs. When gas prices skyrocketed, we all had to learn how to cut back on driving or find alternate methods of transportation. Many people who never thought about frugality had to create tight budgets. I think some of these lessons will be lasting and have taught us not to take things for granted now that we know how bad things can get.

I hope you will read on and enjoy this roundup of my 10 favorite credit- and debt-related posts from the past week!

1. Can’t figure out why you’re always in the red? Studenomics explains three main reasons why people end up in debt.

2. Dough Roller warns of two ATM machine scams and offers advice on how consumers can protect their debit cards and bank accounts.

3. On a similar note, Wisebread discusses several types of credit card fraud in addition to how to detect and avoid it.

4. The Digerati Life discusses why a deferred payment plan can help you manage your debt when it becomes too overwhelming.

5. Rich Credit Debt Loan provides some basic information on why your credit score is important and what factors determine your score.

6. Soldier of Finance explains why payday loans have expensive and unfortunate consequences and why they won’t solve your financial problems.

7. Ask Mr. Credit Card offers advice on what to do if you are concerned about your credit negatively affecting you while going through the hiring process for a new job.

8. Money Crashers features the story of a reader who successfully got her credit card issuer to lower her minimum payment when she realized she wasn’t going to be able to afford it for the first time.

9. Money Ning explains that while the CARD Act has definitely helped consumers, there are five credit card traps you should still be aware of.

See related: A guide to the Credit CARD Act of 2009

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