Houston Matters

What Was the 1980s Houston Oil Bust Really Like?

Slogging through an economic slowdown after a period of rapid growth can be frustrating. It can also be easy to lose perspective. To gets some of that perspective, we travel back in time 30 years to July of 1986, with the help of Houston Matters’ new WABAC machine (…also with the help of an area […]

Skyline Vintage Polaroid - MHagertySlogging through an economic slowdown after a period of rapid growth can be frustrating. It can also be easy to lose perspective.

To gets some of that perspective, we travel back in time 30 years to July of 1986, with the help of Houston Matters' new WABAC machine (…also with the help of an area economist, former reporter, and former city aide).

We ask them to describe life in Houston during the oil bust of the 1980’s. What happened to the city back then? How did it affect us economically, culturally, politically, etc? Just how bad was it? How long did it take to recover? Who hung in there during the bust and who walked away?

Joining on this journey are Steven Craig, an economist at the University of Houston, Sue Davis, a former city hall reporter for KTRH from 1980-1986, and Jerry Wood, former aide to Mayor Kathy Whitmire in the 1980s.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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