American Experience: The Crash of 1929
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In 1929 there were few critics of the stock market; it seemed to rise without limits. In fact, presidents and economists alike confidently predicted that America would soon enter a ""New Era"" when everyone could be rich. But when reality finally struck, the consequences of such unbound optimism shocked the world.
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Top Customer Reviews
The DVD focuses on the year 1929 and some of the men who were leaders in the securities field such as William Durant, founder of GM, Charles Mitchell, the man who popularized stock ownership for the "little guy" and Jesse Livermore, a veteran Wall Street technician.
The DVD does a good job of relating the spirit of the times and the optimistic attitude of Americans during the "Roaring 20's" when Americans came to believe in permanent prosperity. It seemed everyone expected to be able to "strike it rich" and the Stock Market was only one of the disasters in the 20's - the other being the Florida real estate bubble.
There is the usual recounting of the issues involved: easy credit, buying on margin, valuations that had nothing to do with the actual profitability of companies, the rigged game played by the big money interests. What surprised this viewer the most is that everyone knew it was - at least to some extent - a rigged game that the "little guy" really couldn't win! And yet, they kept coming back for more! It seemed that everyone was seeking a way to "get rich quick" and, even though they knew the market was a racket, they kept hoping for that one big score!
I think the video did a good job of relating the attitudes of the day, spotlighting some of Wall Street's leading speculators, and giving a good recounting of the events that led up to "Black Thursday" and the following days that were "The Crash". I don't think it did as good a job of linking the crash to the acceptance by Americans of easy credit and indebtedness or events in Europe that actually precipitated the crash and following depression.
In conclusion, I think this DVD does a good job of presenting the events that led up to the crash as well as the crash itself. I recommend this DVD with four stars.
However, it could have been a bit longer and more detailed.
More (and varied) interviews would have been nice.
Many of the folks interviewed are "no longer with us".
There are no interviews with government officials or policy makers.