America’s Bankrupt Banks: Inside the Meltdown (Full Version)

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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.).

As the housing bubble burst and trillions of dollars’ worth of toxic mortgages began to go bad in 2007, fear spread through the massive firms that form the heart of Wall Street. By the spring of 2008, burdened by billions of dollars of bad mortgages, the investment bank Bear Stearns was the subject of rumors that it would soon fail.

“Rumors are such that they can just plain put you out of business,” Bear Stearns’ former CEO Alan “Ace” Greenberg tells FRONTLINE.

The company’s stock had dropped from $171 to $57 a share, and it was hours from declaring bankruptcy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acted. “It was clear that this had to be contained. There was no doubt in his mind,” says Bernanke’s colleague, economist Mark Gertler.

Bernanke, a former economics professor from Princeton, specialized in studying the Great Depression. “He more than anybody else appreciated what would happen if it got out of control,” Gertler explains.

To stabilize the markets, Bernanke engineered a shotgun marriage between Bear Sterns and the commercial bank JPMorgan, with a promise that the federal government would use $30 billion to cover Bear Stearns’ questionable assets tied to toxic mortgages. It was an unprecedented effort to stop the contagion of fear that seemed to be threatening the rest of Wall Street.

While publicly supportive of the deal, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former Wall Street executive with Goldman Sachs, was uncomfortable with government interference in the markets. That summer, he issued a warning to his former colleagues not to expect future government bailouts, saying he was concerned about a legal concept known as moral hazard.

Within months, however, Paulson would witness the virtual collapse of the giant mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and preside over their takeover by the federal government.

The episode sent shockwaves through the economy as confidence in Wall Street began to evaporate. Within days, in September 2008, another investment bank, Lehman Brothers, was on the brink of collapse. Once again, there were calls for Bernanke and Paulson to bail out the Wall Street giant. But Paulson was under intense political pressure from conservative Republicans in Washington to invoke moral hazard and let the company fail.

“You had a conservative secretary of the Treasury and conservative administration. There was right-wing criticism over Bear Stearns,” says Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Paulson pushed Lehman’s CEO Dick Fuld to find a buyer for his ailing company. But no company would buy Lehman unless the government offered a deal similar to the one Bear Stearns had received. Paulson refused, and Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy.

FRONTLINE then chronicles the disaster that followed. Within 24 hours, the stock market crashed, and credit markets around the world froze. “We’re no longer talking about mortgages,” says economist Gertler. “We’re talking about car loans, loans to small businesses, commercial paper borrowing by large banks. This is like a disease spreading.”

“I think that the secretary of the Treasury could not fully comprehend what that linkage was and the extent to which this would materialize into problems,” says former Lehman board member Henry Kaufman.

Paulson was thunderstruck. “This is the utter nightmare of an economic policy-maker,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman tells FRONTLINE. “You may have just made the decision that destroyed the world. Absolutely terrifying moment.”

In response, Paulson and Bernanke would propose — and Congress would eventually pass — a $700 billion bailout plan. FRONTLINE goes inside the deliberations surrounding the passage of the legislation and examines its unsuccessful implementation.

“Many Americans still don’t understand what has happened to the economy,” FRONTLINE producer/director Michael Kirk says. “How did it all go so bad so quickly? Who is responsible? How effective has the response from Washington and Wall Street been? Those are the questions at the heart of Inside the Meltdown.”

 

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How The Media Lies (Full Version), 4.5 out of 5 based on 19 ratings
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How The Media Lies (Full Version)

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This eye opening long documentary film elaborates on the discovery of American media lies by comparing how news are delivered to the US population and to other countries around the world. The film provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the ME zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for example. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites–oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others–work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

Through the voices of scholars, media critics, peace activists, religious figures, and Middle East experts, the documentary carefully analyzes and explains how–through the use of language, framing and context–the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied territories appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one. The documentary also explores the ways that U.S. journalists, for reasons ranging from intimidation to a lack of thorough investigation, have become complicit in carrying out Israel’s PR campaign. At its core, the documentary raises questions about the ethics and role of journalism, and the relationship between media and politics.

 

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5 comments to How The Media Lies (Full Version)

  • It is I only

    Do not believe anything, until it’s officially denied!

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  • mozebyc

    Ron Paul and the Tampa Convention

    August 27, 2012

    Ron Paul, one of the two main candidates for the Republican party nomination, is not being allowed to speak at his party convention in Tampa because he refused to accept the dictates of the party bosses that he submit his speech to party censors beforehand, and that he support their chosen candidate – Mitt Romney. Where have we seen such undemocratic demands made of politicians before? These demands are more typical of a totalitarian state than of a political party in a free and democratic system. On Sunday, August 26, at his “We Are The Future” rally, Dr. Paul gave the speech the totalitarian GOP party bosses did not want America to hear.

    “…to promote the cause of liberty in a revolutionary spirit.”
    - Ron Paul, August 26, 2012

    Ron Paul’s complete speech with introduction by Senator Rand Paul
    URL Link – http://youtu.be/b3gK-goWD20

    The upcoming Republican convention in Tampa, August 27-30, promises to be a key event in American political history. The GOP convention in Tampa will be the scene of a battle for control of the Republican party and the White House. The struggle will be between patriotic freedom-loving supporters of Dr. Ron Paul and the Zionist-funded criminal faction that supports Mitt Romney.

    Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com expects the GOP to employ “The Iron Fist in Tampa” against supporters of Ron Paul:

    The extraordinary hostility of the GOP hierarchy to Ron Paul and his supporters hardly comes as a shock: Paul is, after all, the single most trenchant critic of our interventionist foreign policy since William Jennings Bryan, and he is the War Party’s deadly enemy. To the servitors of the military-industrial complex, the foreign lobbyists, and would-be Napoleons of the neocon persuasion who hold the reins of power in the GOP, he is the Devil Incarnate. So unwelcome is Paul’s presence that I doubt they’ll even allow him on the convention floor, even given that his more pliable son is one of the speakers. And you can bet Rand Paul’s speech will be vetted under a magnifying glass well in advance: these are people who hate surprises.

    For all their talk of “freedom” in the abstract, when it comes to their own party, the Republicans are ruthless authoritarians: we’re about to see that demonstrated in Tampa.

    The Romney faction is supported with millions of dollars of illegal funds, much of it coming from the Zionist extremist and international casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. The Romney faction has clearly engaged in massive criminal vote fraud during the Republican primaries in order to try and sideline Ron Paul and secure the nomination for Mitt Romney. The criminal faction behind Romney will stop at nothing in getting the nomination for their candidate and preventing Paul supporters from having their say in the convention. Tampa also happens to be the home of Central Command, the military command center for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Things are likely to get very nasty in Tampa.

    The Zionist criminal faction dominates the Republican National Committee (RNC) and is seeking to continue the “War on Terror” agenda that President George W. Bush started after 9-11. This is the agenda that brought us two disastrous wars in the Middle East and a police state mentality in America. This is the faction that is pushing us to war in Syria and Iran. Most significantly, the Zionists who control the RNC are involved in the false-flag terrorism of 9-11.

    The perpetrators of 9-11, the real terrorist masterminds behind the terror atrocity that changed America, are being protected by the secret cabal that controls the White House. The gang that is running the illegal wars and the fraudulent “War on Terror” is the same gang that carried out 9-11. The terrorists behind 9-11 have to maintain tight control of the White House and the political process to prevent a proper investigation for being carried out. It reminds me of how they killed Robert Kennedy to prevent him from becoming president and finding the killers of his brother. The 9-11 cover-up has to be maintained. 9-11 is as important in 2012 as it was in 2002. Solving 9-11 remains the single most important issue facing the American people.

    The Zionists who took over the RNC include Lewis Eisenberg, the former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Eisenberg became finance chairman of the RNC shortly after 9-11. Eisenberg was director of the Port Authority, which owned the World Trade Center, on 9-11, and had served as the head of Governor Whitman’s (NJ) privatization board, just like Ronald Lauder did for Governor Pataki in New York. Together, these two Zionists convinced the governors of the two states to privatize the World Trade Center, an essential part of the conspiracy to destroy the Twin Towers and usher in the fraudulent “War on Terror”.

    Eisenberg was the person who was responsible for the lease of the WTC going to Larry Silverstein and his Israeli commando buddy, Frank Lowy, at the end of July 2001. The rest is history. Eisenberg is a co-chair of Romney’s Florida Finance Team.

    The following video clip explains how the RNC is breaking its own rules to try and push Dr. Paul off the scene in Tampa. Paul supporters will not be content with a film tribute to the man who is the most popular presidential candidate of our time. Anything could happen during the next five days in Tampa. Ron Paul could even win the nomination; it has happened before.

    Lewis M. Eisenberg on the history of the Port Authority, owner and operator of the World Trade Center:

    Sources and Recommended Reading:

    Bollyn, Christopher, “The Criminal Plot to Stop Ron Paul,” December 29, 2011 (updated in March 2012)
    http://www.bollyn.com/the-iowa-caucus-and-iran/

    “Lewis Eisenberg is an Angel,” YouTube, July 25, 2011
    http://youtu.be/zuVmVq9frWQ

    The Solving 9-11 Books

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  • Harriet

    Thank you for supporting this site. Please spread the news about these excellent videos.

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  • [...] How the Media Lies – The One-Sided Coverage of Zionism and the Middle East [...]

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