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Stock Quotes

Many experts’ views of the crash have shifted over the past year as widely expected economic fallout, such as a recession, failed to materialize. Here’s a sampling of what several market observers said in the days immediately following the crash, as reported in the business press, and what they’re saying now.

John J. Phelan Jr.

CHAIRMAN, NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE

1987--"It’s the nearest thing to a meltdown that I ever want to see.”

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1988--"You pay a price for unregulated markets . . . and you’ve got to take the bumps that come along. . . . But this country has been well served by free markets.”

David S. Ruder

CHAIRMAN, SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

1987--"It certainly is more than just a correction.”

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1988--"We’ve fixed a lot of things. Things are better. But we still don’t know what effects of concentrated institutional decision making will be.”

John Kenneth Galbraith

PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY

1987--"I would strongly advise anybody contemplating a luxury apartment on the Upper East Side (of Manhattan) or a house in the Hamptons to wait a few months. The supply will definitely increase.”

1988--"I think the Hampton real estate market is fairly strong. I argued that the aftermath of the crash would not be anything like that of 1929, and I think that’s been borne out.” On predicting the direction of the market and the economy: “There are two classes of people: those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know. I fall into the former category.”

Edward J. Markey

CHAIRMAN, HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TELE-

COMMUNICATIONS AND FINANCE

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1987--On program trading: “We have to ask ourselves if we can afford a technology that slips out of human control.”

1988--The proposal to interrupt an overheated market is “an ambulance waiting at the bottom of the hill for a crash. That would be cold comfort to anyone who has been victimized.”

Nicholas F. Brady

TREASURY SECRETARY

1987--"Separate marketplaces all over the United States, all over the world, were in fact one market. And this is the key conclusion of this report. To a large extent, the October break can be traced to the failure of different market segments to act as one.”

1988--"The conditions that caused the events of Oct. 19th simply are not present today.”

Marshall B. Front

EXEC. VICE PRESIDENT, STEIN, ROE & FARNHAM

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1987--"Futures and options are like barnacles on a ship. They take their life form the pricing of stocks and bonds. When the barnacles start steering the ship, you get into trouble, as you saw last week.”

1988--"I don’t think there have been any meaningful changes. Program trading has not been halted. The market mechanism still can’t accommodate the vast flows of capital. Individual stock ownership as a share of wealth is as low today as it’s been since we’ve kept records.”

Leo Melamed,

EXEC. COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, CHICAGO MERCANTILE EXCHANGE

1987--The post-crash atmosphere “seems like a bit of a witch hunt against program trading in particular and index futures in general. . . . Punish the efficient market in this country and it will simply move to another country.”

1988--Policy-makers “looked at all the proposals on the table and with prudence and intellectual honesty decided a lot of them shouldn’t be done. . . . The markets are now very safe.”

Harold Simmons

CHAIRMAN, VALHI INC.

1987--"Merger and acquisitions activity is done for the moment.” Uncertainty over the tax bill and rising interest rates “are going to knock a lot of deals out of the box.”

1988--"The situation has changed significantly. We are back in an era when there is a lot of merger and acquisition activity. . . . Before Oct. 19, the market refused to accept negative information and would only accept positive information. Today, it refuses to accept the positive.”

Alan C. Greenberg

CHAIRMAN, BEAR, STEARNS & CO.

1987--"Stocks fluctuate. Next question.”

1988--Of proposals to restrict program trading: “I think when you interfere with the laws of supply and demand you end up with beautiful results--like the farm program.”


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