Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Finance and Commercial Law

First Advisor

James DeMello

Second Advisor

Onur Arugaslan

Third Advisor

Wenling Lu


The Great Depression and the recent financial crisis are events that have changed the lives of many American and global citizens. In hopes of preventing similar mistakes in the future, we should study, analyze, and learn from these past events. This investigation attempts to do just that through a rigorous study of the past Great Depression and recent financial crisis. We will explore the two events separately, analyze their similarities and differences and then discuss what we have learned from the Great Depression and see how that knowledge has been used to combat the recent financial crisis. The Great Depression was one of the biggest economic crashes to date and there is still a lot to be learned from that event, but the recent financial crisis also has a lot to offer. We will discuss the financial regulations such as the Glass-Steagall Act, Basel I and Basel II. These new and modified regulations lead to the recent financial crisis. We will identify the biggest changes in regulations and explain exactly why those changes lead to the financial crisis. Additionally, specific economic sectors that played the biggest role in the 2007-2009 crash will be identified and examined. Undoubtedly, the real estate and housing sector played one of the biggest roles but there are also many others that had just as lasting impacts. In aggregate, we will be able to discuss the lessons learned from the Great Depression and what steps were taken in urgent response to the recent financial crisis, and how that influenced the trajectory of the American (and global) economy during, and immediately following, the recent financial crisis. This will help us to formulate responses for future financial crises. We will examine which regulatory policies need to be maintained and which needs to return for the future health of the American economy. This will lead us to discuss what the American government did right and what should be changed and which sectors have too much power in terms of influence. Overall I would like to study, analyze, and learn from these past events in hopes that we will be more prepared for future incidents and hopefully have the means to stop them before they start.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Learning From the Past PowerPoint.pdf (467 kB)
Defense Presentation