The Crash of 1929

Documentary: The Crash of 1929 (2009). This PBS American Experience television documentary notes that by 1929, Charles Mitchell, President of the National City Bank – which would later become Citibank – had popularized the idea of selling stock and high yield bonds directly to smaller investors. Until such time, the “everyday (or little) man” was really unaware of how the stock market functioned and had limited access to it.

The Crash of 1929

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. In many ways they were more important and held in higher regard than politicians.

This documentary chronicles a fateful year through the words and experiences of the descendants of  these titans of finance and provides insight into the roles that buying on margin, speculation, greed, and  a lack of regulations played in the crash.

Available for streaming on the PBS site, iTunes, and via devices such as the Xbox 360 and Roku players that support the PBS channel.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. Great documentary. I just recently watched it.

    • Yep. Same here. While like most people, I am aware of the 1929 Crash in the most general terms, this documentary shed light on the specific causes and some of the key players. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

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