Revisiting Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser: October 16, 1987

by: Fred Smith

Not being a literary type, this article (if you can call it that) may not be up to the standards of SA or for that matter even qualify to be published. Having said that, an SA article published this past weekend by John Jansen alluded to the events of mid-March and the possibility of "another interesting Sunday night" in Asia. Long before wide spread use of the internet and with cable business news [FNN] in its infancy, most got their business fix from programs such as The Nightly Business Report and Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser, both on PBS

As it so happens, I recalled that deep in the root cellar was a box of old videos circa 1987 that included the Wall Street Week episode from Friday, October 16, 1987 (pre Black Monday, October 19). I thought it would be interesting to share this and so I set out to digitize and upload to YouTube. The episode includes Martin Zweig's prediction of the crash as well as an interesting interview with Allen Sinai. I also found additional episodes post crash of both The Nightly Business Report and Wall Street Week, which I may post in the future.

To provide some perspective, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded at the equivalent of $0.50 (100 splits ago) and a new phenomena referred to as computerized program trading was the villain of the day. By the close on that Friday, the Dow had fallen 17.5% from its August high, the Monday that followed it was to fall a further 22%. The market recovered more than half of Black Monday’s decline that same week, but it took more than a year for the Dow to surpass its October 16 close and almost two years to surpass its August 87 high, a level it visited again (and for the last time) two years after that.

The October 16 episode is available in 3 parts: see part I here, part II here, and part III here. 

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