December 6, 1996 – Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan mentioned something about high-flying and irrational exuberance in the U.S. Stock Market at a dinner the previous evening. That was enough to send Wall Street and the U.S. dollar into a sharp nosedive throughout Europe and Asia and continue in the U.S., opening with a decline of over 140 points during the first half hour of trading. Greenspan made those remarks in reaction to what he warned was irrational exuberance on Wall Street; the market was going too fast, too high with too many stocks overpriced and he wanted to see it slow up. What it meant for small investors was a signal to “hang tight and see what happens” as the mayhem was sure to settle down, but it was predicted to be an “up and down” day. The rollercoaster ride was underway.
Meanwhile, jobless numbers for November were also a contributor – hitting a four-month high of 5.4%
The OJ Simpson Civil Trial was getting ready to hear testimony from the living victims of the 1994 murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in Brentwood. It was capper to a case that was, after all, about loss. It was a swift moving parade of some 65 witnesses in 24 days ending with testimony from Simpson himself, returning to the Witness stand during the Defense portion of the trial which was expecting to last no more than a month.
And The San Francisco Symphony was getting ready to play a Children’s Concert before grabbing picket signs and heading to the streets, walking out over a pay dispute with Orchestra Management. The 100 musicians wore white tie and tails as they gathered outside Davies Hall as they went on strike for a new health care system and salary parity with other orchestras. Most agreed they would rather be inside playing Mozart than outside play Joe Hill.
That’s a small slice of what went on, this December 6, 1996 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.