I just happen to look up at the ticker when I was in Times Square about a week or so ago (8/17) after a quick subway train ride up from Wall Street. Then shortly after, the following message in the picture below showed and I quickly took a shot of it. This was on Friday after the Fed injected another round of Billions into the market. These photos pretty much sums up the market over the last couple weeks.
After arriving home at 2:30AM Wednesday last week I had but a few hours of shut eye and then promptly drove all the way to Idaho. On the way back home this past weekend I felt the urge to take it slow and go HWY 2 and visit the Grand Coulee Dam and then onward to the North Cascades Highway via the beautiful Methow Valley and Okanogan countryside. I told my kids that one of the trips this summer had to include some historical background for a bit of education. The Grand Coulee Dam was it.
Well, during the visit I came away absolutely awestruck. We all went upstairs to the visitors center Theater and watched a 50 minute documentary on why the Grand Coulee Dam was built: It was part of the New Deal by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to put people back to work after the devastation created by the Stock Market Crash of October, 1929. The documentary spent several minutes discussing, with actual 1929 footage of the floor in a frenzy at the NYSE, the events leading to the New Deal by FDR and subsequent Federal backing of building the Grand Coulee Dam.
While only a handful of people were in the Theater, I noticed an old couple sitting two rows down from us and I could not help but notice they were knodding there heads up and down (presumably in agreement with what was being said) and from side to side (presumably in agreement and disbelief that they or people they knew went through that period) during some intense footage of the desperation across America.
During the documentary I could not help but think, my gosh, I was at ground zero (Wall Street) just a few days ago where it all began, and then to see this monumental icon of American engineering, ingenuity, brutal work and symbol of both the dark days of America and at the same time the symbol of what is great about this country. Some of the quotes in the documentary by the financial elite are eerily similar to what we hear today about the economy and health of the banking system. There was even mention of how the FDIC was created back then to guarantee deposits and thus reduce the possibility of there ever being a run on banks.
The Grand Coulee Dam took many years to build and 12 Million Cubic Yards of concrete. It produces the most electrical power in North America and it currently is the largest concrete structure in America and the third largest Hydroelectic plant on earth. Excavation began in 1933 and it was essentially complete in 1941. Subsequent upgrades and pumping stations followed and now irrigates roughly a half million acres of farmland in what is today the Columbia Basin. It is a must see if you ever get a chance.
Photo of the Grand Coulee Dam (a mile long) this past Saturday. A symbol of both the dark and bright periods in American history. Sorry this post too long, but I hope some find the symbolism, as I did, very educational.