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Quote of the Day

“The City will not soon forget Friday, May 11, 1866— “Black Friday” it has been designated with great propriety. On that day the monetary unsettledneas of some weeks past, which the day before had risen to a gale, culminated in a tornado, the frightful force of which was far beyond all precedent within memory of the living, and which, if it had continued four-and-twenty hours longer, seemed likely to involve in disaster and wreck all the money establishments of the country.”

-Illustrated London News article describing the scene outside of London after the panic of 1866 and the original “Black Friday”.

 

May 11th – This Day in Stock Market History

 

May 11th, 1866 –  London banking house Overand, Gurney, & Co. fails. The bank owed 11 million pounds to its clients at the time, equivalent to nearly 1 billion pounds today. It’s failure would lead to a severe but brief financial panic, hitting the shipbuilding industry the hardest. It is estimated that 86% of London shipbuilding companies would fail as part of the panic.

On the very next day, it was reported in the Times, with some clairvoyance, that “The day will probably be long remembered in the city of London as the ‘Black Friday.’”

Image of the Panic of 1866 in London. Image from the Hathi Trust Digital Library and The University of Michigan Library
Image of the Panic of 1866 in London. Image from the Hathi Trust Digital Library and The University of Michigan Library

 

This is the first use of Black Friday with relation to financial markets and institutions, but it would not be the last.

 

May 11th, 1965 – Warren Buffett is mentioned in the Wall Street Journal for the first time.

Buffett in WSJ

 

The article covered the news from the previous day that Berkshire Hathaway president Seabury Stanton has stepped down due to disagreements with an “outside interest” that has gained a controlling stake in Berkshire Hathaway. That interest was Warren Buffett, who began buying up the company’s shares in 1962, but accelerated purchases in 1964 to own 40% of the company.

At the time, shares of Berkshire Hathaway were around $15 per share. Today, they are just a little higher:

BRKA Buffett Chart Berkshire


Best May 11th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1915 – Up 4.16%, 2.58 points.

 

Worst May 11th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1900 – Down 2.46%, 1.08 points.


<– Go To Previous Day: May 10th: 1965: Warren Buffett gains control of Berkshire Hathaway