In this animated short, Richard Condie offers up a history lesson about one of the most sensational get-rich-quick schemes that took place in France over 200 years ago. With economist John Law at the helm, the plan was to open a bank and exchange bank notes for gold at wildly inflated share prices to mask the fact that the country's gold had been depleted in the building of Louis XIV's palace. When the inevitable rush to cash in the notes takes place, poor John Law is left broke and broken-hearted.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
Ages 15 to 17
History - World History
Social Studies - Economics
Possible activities include: Discuss John Law’s role in the economic collapse of France in 1720; Research the life of King Louis XIV of France; Research the successes and failures of royal edicts throughout history; Discuss your understanding of the gold standard and why it exists today. Explain get-rich-quick schemes, citing historical examples, and suggest reasons why they are rarely successful.