In 1907, there was a panic on the stock exchange in New York. For months, many shares fell dozens of percent in value. And suddenly, on a black day in October, there were long queues of people waiting in front of the banks planning to withdraw their money. After a day and a half the banks ran out of money and had to close down.
The Amsterdam hotel owner Maarten Vermeulen-Sickerts from the novel The History of a Pleasure Seeker is one of the victims. He is too late. His money is gone. He has to return to Amsterdam, where the same thing is happening, empty-handed.
The New York exchange is saved through a quick move by the banker J.P. Morgan. He mobilizes his friends. Something needs to be done. He manages to convince enough rich acquaintances to deposit money and save the banks. And it works. The rest of the world follows the example.
Too late for many individuals, but in time to get back to business again. And Maarten Vermeulen also manages to scramble to his feet again.