This 4-part documentary series is a Cliffs Notes* summary. The first two (2) episodes of this documentary series are a recap of documentaries that I have referenced in prior blog postings. If you have viewed my previous blogs , these first two episodes will refresh your memory on the Wall Street and U.S. Government shenanigans up until around the election of President Obama.
*Cliffs Notes were study guides or summaries of literature used by students in the 1960’s.
Episode three (3) highlights the election of President Obama. The American economy lost 650,000 jobs, the stock market plunged 6,000 points, Citigroup bank was failing and needed a $120 billion bailout. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement occurred. $45 billion was given to Bank of America. The largest banks received $180 billion in taxpayer bailout money.
Episode four (4), however, highlights how Greece became indebted beyond its possibility of repayment through the use of derivatives. Greece reportedly used swaps to make its balance sheet look better when applying to join the European Union. The bundling and selling of derivatives spreads to Europe. The country of Iceland goes bankrupt! The bond rating agencies falsely rate the derivative investment instruments.
A couple of opinions from insiders to the ongoing Crisis:
“Phil Angelides was chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which was created by Congress in 2009 to investigate the causes of the crisis. In its report submitted in January 2011, the commission concluded that the crisis was avoidable, a result of excessive risk taking, failures of regulation and poorly prepared government leaders. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted by producer Jim Gilmore on Jan. 4, 2012.” Quoted from Frontline, PBS.org.
Phil Angelides…oral histories of 2008 financial crisis
“TWO and a half years ago, Congress passed the legislation that bailed out the country’s banks. The government has declared its mission accomplished, calling the program remarkably effective “by any objective measure.” On my last day as the special inspector general of the bailout program, I regret to say that I strongly disagree. The bank bailout, more formally called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, failed to meet some of its most important goals.”
Where the Bailout Went Wrong
By NEIL M. BAROFSKY MARCH 29, 2011
Next Stop: The London Whale