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Gerald D. Suttles and Mark D. Jacobs

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226781983

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226782010.001.0001

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Congress and the Courts Have Their Say

Congress and the Courts Have Their Say

(p.153) Chapter Eight Congress and the Courts Have Their Say
Front Page Economics
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the linguistic aftermath of Wall Street crime in 1929 and 1987 and its duration into the present. It showed that the public language that developed around the scandals following the 1929 and 1987 crashes became a kind of frozen source for history. After 1929 and 1987, the stock market crashes revealed widespread “irregularities” that seemed like crimes to onlookers. The New York Times and the Tribune offered extraordinary coverage to the Pecora hearings. The newspapers never independently elaborated the web of influence, but once it was introduced in the hearings there was no effort to depreciate the hearings or treat them as comedy. The 1929 crash was expressed as a great tragedy in a period given to excess and corruption at the highest levels. The literature on the 1987 crash was overwhelmingly a comedy held to Wall Street.

Keywords:   Wall Street crime, stock market, New York Times, Tribune, Pecora hearings, 1929, 1987, comedy

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