I’ve been digging through the financial commentary archives of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to compare the tone of investment commentary in the late 1990s to the financial news in the immediate aftermath of 1987’s Black Monday in which the value of the Dow Jones dropped by 22% in a single day.
It leaves an impression to see how quickly investor attitudes changed in under ten regarding the same exact companies. On October 20th, 1987, few people were talking about the inherent quality of enterprises like Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, and Johnson & Johnson, which had been paying out annual dividend increases of almost thirty years by that time. And had been reporting steadily growing profits as well. No one cared.