The world held its breath as the Cold War between two nuclear superpowers came to a near miraculous and peaceful end. But the world also learned of a mysterious virus that defied a cure and triggered a global pandemic. Wall Street brokers became the new rock stars as the stock market soared and the sluggish '70s turned into the 'go-go' '80s. This series gives extraordinary insight into a decade that had a profound impact on the politics, technology and culture of today, by exploring significant events and individuals that played a part in shaping the 1980s.
After the economic hardship of the 1970s perhaps a period of excess was inevitable. Mammon was king as wealth and materialism assumed a dominant place in American culture and politics. It's a decade of junk bonds, savings and loan bailouts and pervasive Wall Street corruption. Tom Wolfe wrote about the Masters of the Universe, and Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky and Charles Keating went from the business page to the front page as their criminal activities were exposed. And in a classic case of art imitating life, a line from a motion picture seemed to set the tone for the entire decade.