1929: The Great Crash

Synopsis:
Genre: Documentary
 
IMDB:
7.4
Year:
2009
16 Views

1

In 1929, years of booming prosperity

ended in catastrophe.

It was the biggest stock market

crash since records began.

It is impossible to underestimate the

shock, a sense of stunned disbelief.

First-time investors borrowed huge amounts

of money to speculate on the market.

The market broke very sharply, and a

lot of people were wiped out with it.

It was very painful.

Later, thousands of banks failed.

Millions lost everything.

The poverty was really all around

us. It was really, really pitiful.

The Crash was followed by a Depression

that spread across the world,

lasted for a decade

and was a prelude to war.

This is a story

of a financial disaster

that we hoped

would never happen again.

Wednesday 23rd October 1929,

without warning,

share prices are plummeting

on the New York Stock Exchange.

Investors are stunned.

For the last five years,

the market has only gone up.

In the space of an hour, a staggering

2.5 million shares are sold.

The next day,

the downward spiral continues.

As people came in

to trade stocks on October 24th,

there was a sense that

maybe something had changed.

All of a sudden,

there just weren't buyers.

People were willing to sell, but there

weren't buyers coming forth to buy the stocks.

And prices began to fall $2, $4,

$10 a share. It was horrifying.

That morning, there were drops on the Stock

Exchange that were so sharp and so dire,

stock suddenly dropping

10, 20, 30 points at a time,

that it's said that there were

shrieks and gasps in the gallery

of the New York Stock Exchange.

People are stunned

by what is happening, and terrified.

Thousands of people begin to gather

outside the Stock Market.

10,000 people.

They fill the streets

from Broadway to the East River.

People wanting to know what

was going, they went there.

These huge crowds gathered around

the Stock Exchange,

around the statues

and on the stairs,

waiting to get any kind of news they

could as people came out of the exchange.

They could hear the shouting and

yelling as people were buying and selling

but they but they

didn't know what was going on

until they gathered

and they stayed there, to find out.

Few of the thousands waiting in the crowd appreciated

the scale of the disaster that was about to unfold.

Nor could they imagine that,

over the next five days,

a financial catastrophe would sweep away

the foundations of America's prosperity.

But to understand what brought about

the crash, we need to go back a decade,

to a time when American confidence grew so high

that it seemed the good times would last for ever.

In 1919, the US had emerged

victorious from World War one.

A mood of optimism was in the air.

Britain and its European Allies were

exhausted financially from the War.

But the US economy was thriving and

the world danced to the American tune.

The uncertainties were over.

There seemed little doubt about

what was going to happen.

America was going on the greatest,

gaudiest spree

in history, and there was

going to be plenty to tell about it.

In the 1920s, everyday life

was changing.

Electrification

transformed America.

Towns were hooked up to the grid.

New technologies emerged -

aeroplanes, radios.

Domestic goods that had started life

as luxuries, now became necessities.

The car industry also boomed as people flocked to

buy one of the new Ford or Chrysler automobiles.

An era of boundless prosperity

seemed to have begun.

This is the flowering of consumer culture and

mass consumption on a scale never before seen.

There is also heavy

instalment buying

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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