Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meltdown - The Secret History of the Global Financial Collapse

A disturbing Doc Zone Documentary 
about the world economy collapse, which began in 2008
- from 2010, © CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Doc Zone has traveled the world - from Wall Street to Dubai to China - to investigate The Secret History of the Global Financial Collapse. Meltdown is the story of the bankers who crashed the world, the leaders who struggled to save it and the ordinary families who got crushed.

Meltdown is the first comprehensive documentary portrait of the worst economic crisis of a generation.

Since the financial meltdown began, trillions of dollars have been spent rescuing banks and jumpstarting economies, yet recovery remains fragile. Fears abound of a “double-dip” return to recession. 

The millions around the world who lost homes and jobs are demanding answers: How did it all go so wrong? Who is to blame? 

They are angry because to date, only a few smalltime players have been held to account. No major banking, regulatory or government figures have yet been convicted of any wrongdoing.

HOUR 1: The Men Who Crashed the World
Greed and recklessness by the titans of Wall Street triggers the largest financial crash since the Great Depression. It's left to US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, himself a former Wall Street banker, to try and avert further disaster:

HOUR 2: A Global Tsunami
The meltdown's devastation ripples around the world from California to Iceland and China. Facing economic ruin, desperate world leaders are at each other's throats:

HOUR 3: Paying the Price
The victims of the meltdown fight back. In Iceland, protestors force a government to fall. In Canada, ripped off autoworkers occupy their plant. And in France, furious union members kidnap their bosses:

HOUR 4: After the Fall
Investigators begin to sift through the meltdown's rubble. Shaken world leaders question the very foundations of modern capitalism while asking: could it all happen again?

How it all began
September 2008 launched an extraordinary chain of events:
  • General Motors, the world’s largest company, went bust.
  • Washington Mutual became the world’s largest bank failure.
  • Lehman Brothers became the world’s largest bankruptcy ever:
  • The damage quickly spread around the world, shattering global confidence in the fundamental structures of the international economy.
The CBC’s Terence McKenna takes viewers behind the headlines and into the backrooms at the highest levels of world governments and banking institutions, revealing the astonishing level of backstabbing and tension behind the scenes as the world came dangerously close to another Great Depression.

Meltdown’s cast of characters includes:
Geraint Anderson, aka “City Boy”
– This hippie-turned-stockbroker in England reveals the dirty secrets of high finance. He says lying and cheating were all part of the high-stakes game.

Dick Fuld
– A true Wall Street predator. As CEO of Lehman Brothers, Fuld boasted he’d rip out and eat his enemies’ hearts. Instead, he watched his own empire collapse beneath his feet.

Hank Paulson
– As US Treasury Secretary, he lurched from crisis to crisis during the meltdown. On his watch, the U.S. spent trillions to bail out Wall Street companies, including Paulson’s old firm, Goldman Sachs.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum
– The self-styled CEO of Dubai, Inc built an astonishing real estate empire. Bigger was always better, until it turned out to be largely a mirage.

Marcy Kaptur 
– This Congresswoman from Ohio is an outspoken voice for the families decimated by the Great Recession. She’s demanding that the bankers responsible pay up.

Meltdown also tells the stories of desperate foreclosed homeowners in California, disillusioned autoworkers at the end of the line in Ontario and furious workers in France who shocked the world by kidnapping their own bosses.

Filmmaker and host Terence McKenna
Terence McKenna has reported extensively on domestic and international affairs for over 30 years. He has produced programs on topics as diverse as the Ethiopian famine, Benazir Bhutto’s rise to power, The Columbian drug wars, the handover of Hong Kong, and the impeachment trial of President Clinton. McKenna also co-authored two seminal Canadian series: Memoirs, about the life and career of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and The Valour and the Horror, about Canadian participation in the Second World War, both of which garnered numerous Gemini Awards and Prix Gemeaux.  

He has written TV  biographies of Jean Chretien. Fidel Castro, and Pope John Paul II, which was awarded the New York Festivals Grand Prize for Best Documentary. Starting in 2000, McKenna focused on the rise of Islamic extremism. He first made Trail of a Terrorist, about Ahmed Ressam and the Millennium Plot, broadcast around the world after 9/11. As part of a PBS Frontline series, it was co-winner of the Dupont-Columbia Gold Baton, considered the highest award in North American broadcast journalism. He followed up with several documentaries, including The Recruiters, Son of al Qaeda, The Secret History of 9-11, (recipient of the 2007 Gemini Award for Best Historical Documentary) The Bush Years and The United States vs. Omar Khadr.

Over the years, McKenna has interviewed many world leaders, including Pierre Trudeau, Jimmy Carter, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Jean Chretien, and Bill Clinton. He reports for CBC Television’s The National.

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