The world’s economic pillars were crumbling. Ruin and worry, the ultimate economic plagues, consumed all in their path and hungered for more… America’s financial vascular system was now in full cardiac arrest. The collapse had begun.
In surreal contrast, the hours passed calmly for McDaniels aboard his anonymous craft in Boston’s inner harbor. There, he checked and rechecked all the provisions, lines and cables, plans and charts that would carry him away on Wednesday morning’s tide. Still, try as he would, he found no place to stow his worry as darkness consumed his soul.
It is said that sea washes away sores opened along life’s journey. Men of the sea suffer a fine and pleasant misery under sail. Such was McDaniel’s hope; that the sea spray of dawn would, indeed, kipper his worries at first light.
When nightfall arrived on that fateful November Sunday, the financial markets in Asia began to erupt. Within an hour, the NIKKEI in Tokyo closed down. Taiwan’s TAIEX set moratoriums, eventually closing the exchange. In Korea, the KOSPI remained opened for almost two hours before crashing, while the Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Indexes suffered the same market crash. In Hong Kong and Australia, the story was the same. The HANG SENG and ASX were flooded beyond capacity.
The contagion was spreading across the globe. By 10:00 p.m. that Sunday, Washington DC time, the Bank of Japan had suspended all transactions for the next twenty-four hours.
It had begun.
The seemingly overnight collapse, which had taken nearly a century to occur, had now, finally, come..
Americans did not know, as they prayed in those darkest of days, that their salvation had already set sail.