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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 26, 2013/ 15 Nissan, 5773

Remember the name

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Creditanstalt. Remember the name.

But first a family story:

He was an ambitious young man in the Roaring Twenties, fresh out of the University of Texas where he'd been, as they used to say, well-liked. And the young man deserved to be: He had a gift for numbers and friendship.

Eager to help, he knew everybody on campus and 'most everybody knew him. He not only had a flivver and a flapper but a whole marching band. As drum major, complete with baton and high plumed hat, he'd led the Longhorn band into the then new Texas Stadium (and would return 50 years later to lead it into the newer one). Robert Preston in "The Music Man" had nothing on young Robert E. Levy of little Marlin, Tex.

The young man was going places -- everyone said so -- and the place to go was Wall Street. For it was the best of times and, as always in the best of times, they would never end. Everyone said so. Things would just get better and better. Everything that rises would no longer fall; they would just keep rising.

This was the New Era. Man had mastered the economy, and the Roaring Twenties would just go on roaring. The way the New Paradigm was going to do in the 1990s. The business cycle was as dead as the medieval idea of the Just Price; boom would never lead to bust again. It was a new world with a new physics. The law of (fiscal) gravity had been repealed.

And if New York was the place to go, 1929 was the year to go there. Ain't we got fun? There was an electricity in the air, the kind that made The Great Gatsby great. The young man had friends up there and his sweetheart wasn't far away at Goucher. Even as an old man, he would remember being impressed by her limousine and chauffeur, for she was a Texas heiress. At least before the Crash changed everything.

One of his first visits in the big city was to the Polo Grounds to see John J. McGraw, legendary manager of the Giants. The team spent spring training every year at the hotel the young man's family ran in Marlin, where its stars could shape up and dry out for the coming season. (The ballplayers would entertain themselves by shooting out the light bulbs that spelled out the hotel's name on its outsized marquee.) Once in New York, the young man sent his card to Mr. McGraw, and was invited to watch the game from the dug-out.

Talk about high cotton. Those were the days, my friend, they thought they'd never end. To quote the then famed economist Irving Fisher, the Alan Greenspan/Ben Bernanke of his prosperous day, "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."

Then came October 29, 1929. Black Tuesday. Looking back, Robert E. Levy would recall walking from the brokerage house on Wall Street all the way up Broadway to his boarding house, watching the crowds of desperate depositors form at every bank he passed. The great bank run was on.

What he remembered most about that day was the taste of strawberries. Still a Texas boy, he'd stop and buy a handful at every fruit stand he passed, and keep walking through the panic. (The apple stands of the Great Depression would come only later, manned by former bankers and stockjobbers.) By the time Robert E. Levy got uptown, a realization had formed: Texas was the place to be.

His friends urged him to stay. This was just a blip, they assured him. It would pass and the market would recover. It did -- in about 50 years. People forget now, but the Depression, The Depression, didn't come on all of a sudden, despite the drama of the Crash. It came in dips and dabs, ups and downs. The market actually showed signs of recovery for a time. This, too, would pass, said the wise old heads, older than they were wise. Why, prosperity was just around the corner. The president of the United States said so. (Sound familiar?)

All of which brings us back to Creditanstalt. A forgotten name today, it would make headlines all over Europe in May of 1931: Viennese Bank Fails/ Bank Runs Spread. The news didn't get much play here. That year's Banking Crisis was happening in far-away Europe. In a little country that didn't matter. It could never happen here.

Today the bank runs are forming on a little island in the Mediterranean far away from the banking centers of Europe. Be assured that the euro is ... sound as a dollar, as they used to say. Relax. Europe's bankers will muddle through as they always have, maybe with a little help from our own Ben Bernankes and Timothy Geithners. Not to mention Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Whale Trades. All those fiscal savants. They know.

Compared to the assurances of sophisticated financiers like these, the simple words of an English housewife -- who somehow became the most successful British prime minister in recent times -- are now as forgotten as she is:

"The European single currency is bound to fail, economically, politically and indeed socially, though the timing, occasion and full consequences are all necessarily still unclear." --Margaret Thatcher.

Why? Because, not to put too fine a point on it, not everybody on that continent can live off the Germans, and the Germans themselves grow tired of supporting the rest of Europe.

Today's financial crisis in Europe may yet be papered over, just as the collapse of Creditanstalt was decades ago. But where will the next crack in the facade appear?

Today's little country that isn't supposed to matter, today's first shaking domino in a long row, is called Cyprus. Remember the name.

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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