Cinema: Jimmie's Peep Shows

One booming day in 1928, officers of the newly merged Consolidated Automatic Merchandising Corp. (Camco) invited the public to invest in its stock. Directors envisaged long lines of their fellow citizens stepping up to drop their nickels in Camco's slot machines. One estimated that the corporation should make some $43,000,000 in five years. Listed among Camco's directors was Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

This time Franklin Roosevelt did not hit the jackpot. By the end of 1929 citizens who still had a nickel were keeping their hands in their pockets. Camco went into receivership in 1934. Its investors lost millions. Director Roosevelt had resigned...

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