Understanding the Meltdown

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The Barons of Wall Street

Useful resources on the financial meltdowns and the trading of derivatives:

A New Kind of Armageddon, here.  Dr. David Jeremiah summarizes the economic state of affairs in America in light of biblical prophecy.

PBS Frontline – The Warning. One of the best from Frontline on derivatives. “We didn’t truly know the dangers of the market, because it was a dark market,” says Brooksley Born, the head of an obscure federal regulatory agency — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] — who not only warned of the potential for economic meltdown in the late 1990s, but also tried to convince the country’s key economic powerbrokers to take actions that could have helped avert the crisis. “They were totally opposed to it,” Born says. “That puzzled me. What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden?”

PBS Frontline – Breaking the Bank: It all began on that fateful weekend in September 2008 when the American economy was on the verge of melting down. Then-Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson, his former protégé John Thain, and Ken Lewis, one of the most powerful bankers in the country, secretly cut a deal to merge Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

PBS Frontline – The Madoff Affair. Through exclusive television interviews with those closest to Madoff’s operation, veteran FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith unearths the details of the world’s first global Ponzi scheme — a deception that lasted longer, reached wider and cut deeper than any other business scandal in history — in The Madoff Affair.

PBS Frontline – Inside the Meltdown. On Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, the astonished leadership of the U.S. Congress was told in a private session by the chairman of the Federal Reserve that the American economy was in grave danger of a complete meltdown within a matter of days. “There was literally a pause in that room where the oxygen left,” says Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.).

PBS Frontline – Ten Trillion and Counting. All of the federal government’s efforts to stem the tide of the financial meltdown have added hundreds of billions of dollars to an already staggering national debt, a sum that is expected to double over the next 10 years to more than $23 trillion. In Ten Trillion and Counting, FRONTLINE traces the politics behind this mounting debt and investigates what some say is a looming crisis that makes the current financial situation pale in comparison.

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