It's a Wonderful Life

Media Type: Film Clips Topic: Elasticity, Economic Crisis, Money & Banking

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George (James Stewart) returns to find a mob standing outside the Building and Loan and he lets the crush of people into the lobby. He then talks with Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) who tells George that he has handed over most of their cash to the bank and closed for the day to prevent a riot. George pleads with the throng while he tries to explain how the banking system works. The Building & Loan doesn’t keep all the depositors money on hand; it lends the money out into the community as an investment. For any instructor who wants students to gain an appreciation for why bank runs existed and what the banking industry looked like prior to FDIC insurance, this scene is worth viewing.

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