A number of economic experts worried about the sharp increase in stock prices that followed Hoover's election. The president himself urged stock market officials to make trading more honest and safe. And he approved a move by the Federal Reserve Board※ to increase the interest charged to banks.
However, both efforts failed to stop the growing number of Americans who were spending their money wildly on stocks.
Some experts pointed to danger signs in the economy during the summer of nineteen twenty-nine. The number of houses being built was dropping. Industries were reducing the amount of products that they held in their factories. The rate of growth in spending by average Americans was falling sharply. And industrial production, employment, and prices were down.
These experts warned that the American economy was just not strong enough to support such rapid growth in stock prices. They said there was no real value behind many of the high prices. They said a stock price could not increase four times while a company's sales stayed the same. They said the high prices were built on foolish dreams of wealth, not real value.
But the prices went still higher. Buyers fought with each other to pay more and more for company stocks. The average price of all stocks almost doubled in just one year.
It seemed everybody was buying stocks, even people with little money or economic training.
A clothing salesman got advice from a stock trader visiting his store and made two hundred thousand dollars. A nurse learned of a good company from someone in the hospital. She made thirty thousand dollars. There were thousands of such stories.
By early September, the stock market reached its high point of the past eighteen months. Shares of the Westinghouse company had climbed from ninety-one dollars to three hundred thirteen. The Anaconda Copper company had risen from fifty-four dollars to one hundred sixty-two. Union Carbide jumped from one hundred forty-five to four hundred thirteen.
Life was like a dream. But like any dream, it could not last forever.
※ Federal Reserve Board [FRB]：連邦準備制度理事会