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Time for the Gangsters?

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A new film comes out in July called Public Enemies, with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

It’s the story of John Dillinger, who went on a rampage of bank robbing in 1933-34, and gained notoriety as a kind of Robin Hood gangster anti-hero.

At the time, many other anti-hero’s were at work with Al Capone being the most notable, but also Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker and more.

The roaring thirties created these Public Enemies in a depressed world after the market crash that precipitated the Great Depression: between 1929 and 1933, the stock market fell 75 percent from its peak.

The author of the book on which the film is based is Bryan Burrough. Quoted in interview, here’s what Burrough had to say:

“America has a long tradition of what’s called ‘social outlaws’. That is, Robin-Hood style outlaws, going back to Jesse James and before. But never before had the US been in such economic straits that so many criminals, especially Dillinger, really connected with the people. The people were angry at banks and large corporations, and a guy like Dillinger seemed to be fighting back.”

Sound familiar? 

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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