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Quote of the Day

“It’s a proprietary strategy. I can’t go into it in great detail.”

-Bernie Madoff discussing his trading philosophy, in a 2001 interview with Barron’s magazine. On this day in 2009, Madoff would plead guilty to the largest ponzi scheme in history.

March 12th – This Day in Stock Market History – Oracle IPOs, Bernie Madoff Pleads Guilty

March 12, 1933 – FDR makes a nationwide speech pleading for cooperation in restoring public confidence in America’s banking sector.

“I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking—with the comparatively few who understand the mechanics of banking but more particularly with the overwhelming majority who use banks for the making of deposits and the drawing of checks. I want to tell you what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be. I recognize that the many proclamations from State Capitols and from Washington, the legislation, the Treasury regulations, etc., couched for the most part in banking and legal terms should be explained for the benefit of the average citizen. I owe this in particular because of the fortitude and good temper with which everybody has accepted the inconvenience and hardships of the banking holiday.”

Roosevelt ordered all of the nation’s banks closed on March 6th, 1933 in what was supposed to be a four day banking holiday. As Americans began to get restless, FDR’s speech thanked the country for their sacrifice and begged them to continue to remain calm. Banks in the country would begin to reopen the next day, and the nation would begin its two decade long recovery from the great depression.

The speech would be the first in a number of “Fireside Chats” that the president would have broadcasted nationally.

You can listen to Roosevelt’s entire fireside chat, read the transcript, or find recordings of other FDR fireside chats here: http://millercenter.org/president/fdroosevelt/speeches/speech-3298

Source: It Was a Very Good Year: Extraordinary Moments in Stock Market History

March 12, 1956 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 500 for the first time ever.

Dow Jones Industrial Chart from Macrotrends
Dow Jones Industrial Chart from Macrotrends

The milestone came at a very bullish time for the general stock market. America’s economy was booming after the end of the war and lat the foundation for the “nifty-fifty” stocks that became popular in the 60’s.

The rally would continue for nearly another decade, nearly doubling before the mid to late 60’s bear market. (However, it would take the Dow until 1972 to reach the 1,000 mark for the first time)

Source: The Market’s Measure: An Illustrated History of America Told Through the Dow Jones Industrial Average

March 12, 1986 – Oracle IPOs at $15 per share.

Oracle shares would close their first day of trading at $20. Today that share price is misleading since Oracle has undergone so many stock splits. 1 share in 1986 is equivalent to 324 shares today, giving initial investors at Oracle’s IPO a return of about 112,000%.

Today, that $15 share is worth about $17,000.

Every $100 invested in Oracle stock at its IPO is worth about $113,300 today.


Today Oracle is worth about $285 billion, and made its founder Larry Ellison one of the world’s richest men.

Oracle’s IPO would come at a busy time for tech IPOs. Sun Microsystems (which would later be acquired by Oracle) IPOed March 4th, 1986 and Microsoft would IPO the day after Oracle, on March 13th, 1986.

March 12, 2009 – Bernie Madoff pleads guilty to all charges.

New York Times Coverage of Madoff's guilty plea
New York Times Coverage of Madoff’s guilty plea

Madoff would be officially sentenced to 150 years in prison on June 29th, 2009

Best March 12th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

2009 – Up 3.46%,  239.66 points.

Worst March 12th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

2001 – Down 4.01%, 436.37 points.