Tuesday night is the premiere of Frontline’s latest report: Breaking the Bank. The report is supposed to include high-profile interviews with key players Ken Lewis and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and will reveal the story of two banks at the heart of the financial crisis and their rocky merger. It may also look at the implications of the government’s new role in taking over (“nationalizing”?) the American banking system.
“The bets were huge and risky—billions of dollars on the housing market. The upside was undeniable—superbanks reaped billions of dollars, dominated the landscape, and gobbled up competitors. Then the bottom dropped out—the massive losses on Wall Street nearly broke the banks. In the worst crisis in decades, brand name banks are on the brink. Now as the federal government implements an unprecedented intervention in the industry, FRONTLINE goes behind closed doors to tell the inside story of how things went so wrong so fast and to document efforts to stabilize Wall Street. Veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk (Inside the Meltdown) untangles the complicated financial and political web threatening one particular superbank-Bank of America.”
UPDATE: The full version of the program is now available for viewing online: Breaking the Bank.
Here is a preview:
If you missed them, the Frontline reports on Inside the Meltdown and the Madoff Affair were wonderful and worth your time to watch. They are available online: