Since 2008, Wall Street and Washington have fought against the tide of the fiercest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Now, Frontline’s veteran political and financial producers, Michael Kirk (Inside the Meltdown, The Warning) and Martin Smith (College, Inc., The Madoff Affair), team up to present the epic inside story of the struggles to rescue and repair a shattered economy, exploring key decisions, missed opportunities, and the unprecedented and uneasy partnership between government leaders and titans of finance that affects the fortunes of millions of people around the world.
Their two-part special report, Money, Power and Wall Street, airs Tuesdays, April 24 and May 1, 2012, from 9 to 11 p.m. on KUED. The four-hour investigation looks at how we got there, where we are now and where we might be going, from the Lehman brothers and the bailouts to the European debt crisis and the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Four years after the crisis began, is the global financial sitution any safer? "Here we are three years plus after, and nothing has changed," says one commenter in the film. Adds another, "The clouds are still hanging over the global economy and theyr'e still filled with risk." The crisis never really ended.
According to a scathing report issued in early April by one of the nation’s top banking regulators, the Federal Reserve Board of Dallas, the nation’s largest banks are “a perversion of capitalism” and “a clear and present danger to the U.S. economy.”
In a column for ProPublica and The New York Times, reporter Jesse Eisenger described the report as “a radical indictment of the nation’s financial system.” According to the report, the five biggest commercial banks — JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp — hold 52 percent of all U.S. deposits, which means the “too big to fail” problem looms larger than ever over the economy.
Frontline interviewed Dallas Fed CEO and President, former banker Richard W. Fisher, to talk about the report. The Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation passed in the wake of the crisis proposed to solve the problem by giving the government authority to dismantle a big bank. But Fisher says a better solution is not to allow banks to get so big. He says the moment is now to break up big banks.
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