Thanks Gary North:

As early as mid-July, Hoover returned to a favorite theme: attacking short-selling, this time the wheat market. The short-selling speculators were denounced for depressing prices and destroying confidence; their unpatriotic “intent is to take a profit from the losses of other people”–a curious charge, since for every short seller there is necessarily a long buyer speculating on a rise. When the crisis came in the fall, the Stock Exchange authorities, undoubtedly influenced by Hoover’s long-standing campaign against such sales, restricted short selling. These restrictions helped drive stock prices lower than they would have been otherwise, since the short-seller’s profit-taking is one of the main supports for stock prices during a decline. As soon as the crisis struck in the fall, Hoover reverted to his favorite technique of holding conferences. On September 15, he laid plans for a Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership to be held in December, to promote the widening of home ownership and to lower interest rates on second mortgages. The resolutions of the December conference originated many of the key features of later New Deal housing policy, including heavy long-term credit at low rates of interest and government aid to blighted, low-income housing.

– Murray Rothbard
“1931: The Tragic Year,”
America’s Great Depression


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