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Happy 25th birthday to photos of brokers with hands on their faces

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.6%. Here’s what the front page of The Wall Street Journal looked like the next day:

And the cover of The New York Times:

What’s that in the middle of the Times front page? A broker who’s upset? Let’s take a closer look:

Brokers with hands on their faces! It turns out the motif that came to dominate our most recent financial crisis — even inspiring its own Tumblr — dates back at least to the crash of 1987. Photo editors at business news outlets have been taking inspiration ever since. And while I’m sure there were some photos of brokers with hands on their faces before Black Monday, let’s just go ahead and call this specimen, featuring trader Terrence J. McManus, the originator:

And the back of that image in the Times photo archive:


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