The cover of our Oct. 28–Nov. 3, 1987, issue.

When the Market Went Dark

Thirty years after the crash of ’87 and we’re still at the mercy of a volatile economic system.

BY In These Times Staff

Email this article to a friend

The crash of ’87 is a reminder that for all its vaunted rationality, capitalism is an economic system driven by greed and fear.” With these words, long-time In These Times contributor David Moberg began the cover story from the Oct. 28–Nov. 3, 1987, issue.

Thirty years ago, “Black Monday” sent markets into a tailspin across the globe. The ’87 crash was the largest single-day market crash in history, resulting in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars on the stock market and shrunken pension funds.

The crash of 2008, and the resulting Great Recession, offered further evidence that the capitalist system is not just risky, but prone to crises. Today, the shaky foundations of our finance-centered economic system remain largely unchanged.

Moberg ended his piece calling for a new direction in crafting U.S. economic policy:

Politically, the opportunity is ripe to respond with a more cooperative world economic order and domestically with a more democratic, innovative economy that stresses education, research, techno - logical sophistication, social accountability of capital, job security, workplace democracy and equality.

Unfortunately, this positive prescription didn’t take off, and George H.W. Bush won the next year’s presidential election. Thirty years on, we still need real alternatives to a system of greed and fear.

Support Progressive Journalism

Donations from readers like you make up a full third of our annual income—that's how critical our end-of-year fundraising drives are. If you want to continue to read independent, progressive journalism in 2019 and beyond, we hope you'll consider chipping in whatever you can today.

For a limited time, anyone who makes a donation of $5 or more to In These Times will get a free copy of Verso's best-selling 2019 Radical Diary and Weekly Planner.

View Comments