Friday, February 20, 2009

History Repeats Itself, in the Secret History of Comics

Warren Bernard writes in with another bit of the Secret History of Comics:

Well, no question that all of us capitalists have taken it on the chin recently. To show how things do not change and for your enjoyment, (Well, OK, as much as one can enjoy seeing their life savings evaporate into thin air), here is a cartoon about the stock market from Puck Magazine in 1884.

'The Wall Street Hellgate' by F. Graetz, Puck, 1884.

Note the electrical/telegraph wires in the crown of the "Siren", as she plays her harp of speculation.

Replace the strings labeled "Western Union", "Erie" and "Pacific" (all railroad companies, the growth stock of the day) with "CDOs", "Mortgage Backed Securities" and "Ethanol" and Voila!! Instant 21st Century political cartoon!!

But my favorite part of the cartoon are the foot pedals on the harp. They are named, appropriately enough, "Puts" and "Calls".

We have not changed much in 125 years and I dunno about you, but I surely feel as if I just crashed on those rocks.

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