While reconstructing the Dow price chart (here), I noticed that there was some dubious statistics going on behind the scenes. The chart made the point that the 1929 bear market took over 20 years to recover to its peak value. The mystery wrapped in the enigma is the existence of the time series for a 1937 bear market and a 1939 bear market. This could not happen unless there were bears within bears and recoveries within recoveries.
The uncomplicated time-series view brings this situation out more clearly:
This is a sobering picture in the face of all the talk about "green shoots" and "bear market rallies".
From a statistical perspective, the 1937 and 1939 bear markets cannot be interpreted without noting that they happened inside of a larger bear market.