Just Watched PBS Special on 'The Crash of 1929'

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ByLoSellHi, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. 'This American Experience,' taped in 1990, was run again.

    I never saw it before.

    It was shocking how similar the psychology of the public was, the actions and intentions of 'market movers' (JP Morgan and other bankers, in this case) were, and how things lined up in a similar ways in almost every other respect to today.

    For all the talk of how different things are this time, how we have an interventionist central bank, and how there are other major differences, it was the similarities that struck me as most profound.

    I am not claiming we'll have another Great Depression now (who knows that), but if you get a chance to watch this or TIVO it, you'll do yourself a huge favor.
  2. TGregg


    Thank you for posting this and for the link. Hard to believe that PBS would publish anything that shows capitalism in a harsh light :).

    But very seriously, thanks. I'm watching it now.
  3. Honestly, I thought it was as content neutral as anything I've seen on any station.

    They chronicled Jesse Livermore, J.P. Morgan, and others, and didn't render moralistic judgment on cause and effect.
  4. the bottom is in!!!
  5. Cutten


    I'm watching it, nice link, however some of the 'facts' are sheer nonsense e.g.

    "Everything Jesse Livermore touched turned to gold, it seemed. All he had to do was press a button and the stock went up 10 points."

    Yeah right!

    "He controlled so much money that he could single-handedly drive up the price of a stock, and then sell, reaping huge profits"

    Yep, trading really is that easy!

    Pure garbage so far.
  6. Cutten


    Just finished watching. It has historical value and is interesting, but they rely too much on people with historical or blood connections (e.g. daughter-in-law of Livermore, son of Charles Mitchell etc) who have no real understanding of finance, investment, or speculation. They needed more expert commentary from market historians, economists specializing in the depression, and players who understood what went on.
  7. TGregg


    Pretty cool seeing that photo of Livermore just a few hours before he ventilated himself.
  8. gnome


    Here's a summary of each section... sound familiar?


    Chapter 1: Introduction (1:38)
    The story of a fateful year, the unbounded optimism of the Jazz Age and the shocking consequences when reality finally hit.

    Chapter 2 Chapter 2: "Permanent Prosperity" (8:36)
    Many ordinary Americans begin to invest in the stock market. For almost eight straight years, stock values rise. By 1929, there seems to be no upper limit to American prosperity.

    Chapter 3 Chapter 3: Wall Street Welcomes Main Street (10:28)
    Speculators like William C. Durant, Jesse Livermore, and Charles Mitchell amass fortunes. As smaller investors enter the market, insiders manipulate stocks for personal gain.

    Chapter 4 Chapter 4: Credit Crunch (10:36)
    On March 22, 1929, the market plunges. As people try to borrow more money to cover the falling value of their stocks, there is a credit crunch.

    Chapter 5 Chapter 5: Mass Illusion (11:49)
    The stock market soars to record heights despite ominous signs of economic trouble.

    Chapter 6 Chapter 6: The Market Crashes (9:13)
    On October 29, 1929 the market crashes without a bottom in sight as investors panic and sell their holdings.

    Chapter 7 Chapter 7: The End of an Era (3:52)
    The crash marks the end of a prosperous era. Gone is the innocent optimism, the confidence, the illusion of wealth without work.

    Chapter 8 Chapter 8: Credits (1:06)
    Production credits for the television program.
  9. =======================
    Well not an exact cycle pattern but amazing how 10 year cycle of commercial crisis plays out;1731 could have happened in 1931,
    but instead happened[early] in 1929.

    And checked in my library, Jesee Livermore correctly felt the market was overvalued in '29, but became prematurely bullish in NOV '29,''But quickly cut his losses,switched to short side''

    We have many more safeguards than they did,FDIC, unemployment insure, food stamps,more bear data/bear books;
    but less % of victory gardens, farms /food & fuel systems are much, much more fragile & concentrated.

    The latter could lead to much more panic selling...........:cool:
    #10     Nov 11, 2008