Money, Power & Wall Street – FRONTLINE Documentary

This is a very good program on the inside story of the global financial crisis.  See it on the Frontline web site. Pay close attention to the segment that explains of how CDO’s (collateralized debt obligations) developed and Credit Default Swaps proliferated.  Also,  there is a brief appearance by Brooksley Born who in the 1990’s headed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  In 1998 she proposed regulation of the growing market in swaps, financial instruments that are traded over the counter between banks, insurance companies or other funds or companies, and thus have no transparency except to the two counterparties and the counterparties’ regulators, if any. However CFTC regulation was strenuously opposed by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, and by by Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. Under heavy pressure from the financial lobby, legislation prohibiting regulation of derivatives by Born’s agency was passed by the Congress. Born resigned in 1999 after having issued the first, official and clearest warning that derivatives could sink the financial markets and therefore the economy.  She made the right call before anyone.  Click here to watch.

The Warning (PBS) - Brooksley Born
The Warning (PBS) – Brooksley Born (Photo credit: k-ideas)
157 Oneck Lane, Westhampton Beach, NY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.