21 October 2009

The Great Crash of 1929: Remembering the 80th Anniversary of Black Thursday

This is a 55 minute video from the award winning "American Experience" PBS series that covers The Great Crash of 1929.

It contains many 'first person' stories and interesting tidbits not normally covered in standard documentaries. The music and contemporaneous movie clips create a wonderful sense of the atmosphere of the times. The insights into some of the great personalities from that era like Jesse Livermore and Charlie Mitchell are unique.

It may be ironic that this film was produced by a company based in the UK, and not an American company. It is based in part on a book by William Klingaman. It also is worth reading, and is not heavy like some of the more didactic works. Galbraith's book is short and is a good start of course. After that everyone has their favorites.

The quality of this online video copy detracts a bit from the piece, but the price is right.

It is remarkable how, despite the technology and the sophistication, the basic schemes and pitfalls of Wall Street have changed so little in their substance over these many years.

It is well worth watching as we approach the 80th anniversary of Black Thursday, October 23, 1929. As they did not know what they before them, so we also do not realize what the future will bring. As surely as it was then for the great credit and equity bubble, it is for us now in our own credit, financial assets, and currency bubble: the party is over.

Direct link to The Great Crash of 1929