The Crash of 1929

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The Crash of 1929By 1929, Charles Mitchell, President of the National City Bank (which would become Citibank), had popularized the idea of selling stock and high yield bonds directly to smaller investors. Mitchell and a very small group of bankers, brokers, and speculators manipulated the stock market, grew wealthy and helped create the economic boom of that fabulous decade.

Their successes made them folk heroes of the day. The Crash of 1929 chronicles a fateful year through the words and experiences of the descendants of these titans of finance.

In 1929, while the market was rising, seemingly without limits, there were few critics. Based on eight years of continued prosperity, presidents and economists alike confidently predicted that America would soon enter a time when there would be no more poverty, no more depressions -- a "New Era" when everyone could be rich.

Instead it was the rich who became became richer. Jesse Livermore, a Wall Street insider, drove around town in one of six yellow Rolls Royces. His daughter-in-law describes his two yachts, private railway car and five homes, including an apartment on Fifth Avenue he bought to have a place where he could change clothes for the theater. (Excerpt from pbs.org)

Watch the full documentary now

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  • eddie

    great reminder to all of us to realize how irrational it is to think that a market can stay up forever. for someone to be really rich, there have to be many who are poor...

  • CSRealist

    ...I disagree. For some to be "really rich", there has to be many who either don't pay attention, don't work hard, don't stay smart, don't pay attention, don't have good ideas, and don't care how they get rich as long as it's fast and easy. It's really a relatively few people who have little to know control over their own lives in America. Obviously, in other places, that may be more or less.

    Really...don't blame the rich for everything. We all have present and past historical examples of what (not) to do. This is like blaming McDonald's in-shape, wealthy CEO for why you're fat and poor.

    (not saying you, eddie...just saying)

  • DeathSSghosT

    well i think its weird that alot of people lost every thing but there were people that got really rich. the money that was in the market wasn't lost but mearly tranfered and consolidated to the few that orchestrated the crash to begin with. then they got even richer by buying the stocks that were out there for pennies on the dollar

  • Jeff

    If in five years time every American could earn and save enough money to afford living the rest of their lives without a job...

    Guess what would happen?

    Profits flow in only one direction. Up. And there's a very limited amount of space at the top.

    Fact/Enlightenment: "For some to be really rich, there have to be many who are poor."

    Fiction/Ignorance: "It’s really a relatively few people who have little to no control over their own [economic destiny] in America."

  • Nafiu

    THIS IS THE RESULT OF A SYSTEM THAT PROMOTE UNJUSTLY DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH

  • http://www.servicetrades.com George

    Well at least we have nothing but blue skys from now on!

    Right?

  • Eddie II

    Capitalism is a symptom of deeper problems. As long as there is selfishness and greed on a large scale there will be an imperfect government and economy. The poor is to blame as much as he rich. We are all guilty as charged because where one side takes advantage of the resources, the other side allows itself to suffer needlessly. Centuries ago humankind flourished under a just system, but those lessons are lost to a pre-history we have all but forgotten. The Golden Age will return; every cycle has a new beginning. With the rebirth, however, will come new leaders, new people, and integrity will replace the greed, cure the economic and governmental body before yet another sad return to today.

  • Kurrrt

    I married banker Barnard Baruch's great grand daughter.

  • audiotech

    It's the power of finance capital that's at fault here. The crisis of 1929 led to the rise of fascism, world war two, the holocaust and 90 million dead. Have fun!

  • J. Davajon

    This documentary captures the period's soul.
    The music, scenes, comments, all do a great
    job of taking one back eighty years to an era so
    long ago and yet so near....Kudos to the producers!

  • Toby

    So if it is equally the rich and the poor people's fault, that poor people are poor.

    what should the lower class do to prevent this ?

    rise up and kill the rich ? (surely the rich man dont want that, as he would find himself to be greatly outnumbered.)
    And then the next ''smart'' people will step in and take all of the profit from the official the ''rich man got massacred merchandise''. and we will have the same problem and the same class difference again.

    Delete the money from the equation. No rich no poor.

  • http://twitter.com/imatelly jezebel finkelstein

    the world should look at this film because today this is happening again but it is the usd that is going to fail considering they wont stop bailing people out,back then no one got bailed out and so far they have bailed everyone out from chase to mc donolds!!! bailing out our economy was and right now is the inflation making silver and gold sky rocket and as the dollar fails silver and gold will go to up further, if we stop the money flow atleast we can heal our economy if we keep going gold will hit 1 billion like it did in germany in ww2 buy silver dont keep it in dollars

  • Guest

    no society is capitolist if it has a central bank. We pay interest to use the money we should be printing ourselves ie us gov. this movie decieves. The federal reserve act was passed in 1913 but instead of backing banks like they agreed the pull money back. Doesnt even 1 of you know your origins? Who set up this system and the us supposed gov.? Who made the rules and who has to live by them. To indoctrinate the masses by calling them lazy if they dont support a system they really have no stcok in so to speak, is incedeous. Starting with who hired adam smith to write his propaganda until now, its the same people that are still profiting from the manufactured ups and downs.Our parents were innocent lets not pass the same ignorance on to our children.

  • Mathieu Yelle

    It was the zionist that installed the Federal Reserve. This is a 10,000 year old battle between community & hierarchy. Christians, Muslims, Hinduism, etc are religions based on the belief that man is better off in an equal society, almost to the point to believe that the collective intelligence of humanity could become God in the sense of creating anything. In a sense, this is true given that everything is energy, our minds create reality and not the other way around. Life is an illusion, and collective thinking is God. On the other had, you have the Zionists, their Jewish followers and worshipers of the Luciferian doctrines (Illuminati) who believe in creating hierarchy on Earth to summon God at the top of the pyramid, hence enslaving humanity to the orders of a single individuals. What we are seeing today is a power grab by those who wish to control all of humanity for their God. Corruption, Inflation, Mainstream media, selfishness, mixing races, pushing the gay movement, politics, 911, etc is all their plan. It is well laid out in the Prôtocôls of the Lè<rnéd Éldêrs ôf Zîôn.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Kukowski/100001515201862 Matt Kukowski

    Population will kill all of you.

  • oklima

    It won't kill you though.

  • knowledgeizpower

    Some good points you made concerning earning and saving to afford a living. I think a major problem is the borrowing the most of the people do. If we would save and start owning more such as our homes so on and so forth that wold make a difference. If we would work and produce for ourselves that would make the flow in the right direction...

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.wesley.37 Elizabeth Wesley

    How true and how different it is today from when you posted a year ago.

  • mike jarvis

    fools... all of us. Is it not clear by now? WE are a greedy species. As long as there is a human presence we will repeat and repeat and repeat our own history. Utopian societies are a dream of men. In a 100,00 years after the last human takes the last breath(if not WAY sooner) the earth will finally be able to "reset" to the purity of nature that we as humans have pissed all over. We are the most insignificant species (as far as time spent) this world has ever known, yet we carry on as if nothing else matters except us and the "now". "Dust in the wind". and no! that is NOT a religious metaphor. Yes this comment has strayed off topic, but so has the human species as we know it now. :(