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In Debt We Trust: America Before the Bubble Bursts (2006)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 2006 (USA)
Just a few decades ago, owing more money than you had in your bank account was the exception, not the rule.


Danny Schechter




Credited cast:
Nina Adams Nina Adams ... Self
David Aguilar David Aguilar ... Self - Entrepreneur
Roy Barnes Roy Barnes ... Self - Former Governor of Georgia
Steve Barnett Steve Barnett ... Self - Former Credit Card Executive
Tracy Berry Tracy Berry ... Self
Michelle Best ... Self
Lorraine Bracco ... Self
Mildred Brown Mildred Brown ... Self - Representative for ACORN
George W. Bush ... Self (archive footage)
Lou Cherico Lou Cherico ... Self - Former Prosecutor
Dennis Devareaux Dennis Devareaux ... Self - Graduate Student
Tamara Draut Tamara Draut ... Self - Analyst
Darrin Elmore Darrin Elmore ... Self - US Navy
Michell Fayez-Olabi Michell Fayez-Olabi ... Self - Foreclosure Victim
Daniel Gross Daniel Gross ... Self - Computer Database Expert


Just a few decades ago, owing more money than you had in your bank account was the exception, not the rule.

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Not Rated

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User Reviews

The plan to make everyone and everything be in debt, as a means of control
4 September 2011 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This documentary has a title which plays ironically upon the motto of the United States, which appears on coins: 'In God we trust.' The theme is that debt, in the form of credit addiction, has now largely taken the place of God in America, and Debt is indeed a wrathful god! The film indirectly predicted the financial collapse of 2008 two years before it happened, so it is an extremely important historical document which lays bare what was happening, and hints at what was about to happen, and did. A man interviewed in the film describes and criticizes those strange inventions of financial fraudsters known as 'securitisations'. Probably no one seeing the film at the time knew what he was talking about, but we all know now. 'Securitisations' were ways of packaging bad debts into complicated bundles which were 'sold as debt' to banks and investors. The man describes the process: you take a house worth $400,000, give a loan against it of $800,000 which you know can never be repaid, then incorporate that bad loan in something complicated called 'securitisation' and sell it to a sucker. You then have sold the worthless debt and have cleared your own investment. This is straightforward fraud, of course, but since this happened many thousands of times and was done by all the leading banks and lenders, and the entire financial system was implicated, no one has been prosecuted, and all the bad debts were simply passed on to the taxpayers, and everyone involved in the gigantic scam got their money in the form of what is euphemistically called 'bail-outs'. So the crooks won and will never be punished. The ultimate suckers were the public. If you look more closely at what happened at the Government level, let us consider the case of Hank Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury, who was given the power to decide who would get how much 'bail-out'. He was the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Of course it is pure accident that he gave Goldman Sachs billions and billions of dollars. When at Goldman Sachs his main competitor was Lehmann Brothers. Of course it is also pure accident that Lehmann Brothers got nothing and was allowed to collapse. I have never seen anyone in the financial press ever even whisper the words 'conflict of interest'. Perhaps they don't know what those words mean. Hank Paulson must therefore be some kind of hero, don't you think? If your name is Goldman or it is Sachs? But this film mainly deals with credit cards and accuses the credit card companies and banks of trying to turn the entire nation of America into credit junkies, at which they have admirably succeeded. Indeed, the intention to attach lifelong debt to every human being on the planet is well underway. What better way to control people? In this film there is an interview with a family who were sitting having lunch one day when a law enforcement officer turned up and said they had ten minutes to get out of the house, as it was being repossessed. They had to leave all their clothes and belongings behind, and the lunch sitting half eaten on the table. Yes, 'in God we trust', for there is only God left when the system is so rotten, the culture so corrupt, the exploitation of every citizen so ruthless, that children can have their lunch ripped from their mouths and be thrown onto the street without a possession to their name. That is America today. The film then goes on to explain how all the politicians in Washington depend upon the banks and financial institutions for their campaign money so refuse to do anything to stop this credit mania which is destroying the country. The film criticises the national debt for being out of control, but it is now five years later and it is still rising insanely. The film explains that America has become a nation of consumption, and that two thirds of its GDP is money spent internally on consumption and hence not earned from outside (and this is funded by the Chinese buying American bonds so that the American economy does not collapse because if it does China, which is based upon exports, might then collapse too because of being unable to continue selling to America). This is a sick, rotten, and wholly unsustainable situation, of course. The film shows how credit card companies and banks are targeting teenagers and offering them credit cards, in order to habituate them to living on credit, and becoming indebted for the rest of their lives. Many horrifying examples and case histories are given. One girl in her twenties who has 'gone straight' cheerfully says it will only take her six more years to clear her debt and then she will be 'free'. But will she? Will anybody? How long can this go on? The crash we have had so far is nothing compared to what must be coming. I was horrified to see that a Canadian reviewer has viciously attacked this film and called it worthless. He must work for a credit card company! The film was made on a very low budget by an investigative journalist called Danny Schechter, and its production values are not of the highest. But he should not be criticised, he should be praised for going to all this trouble to try to warn the unheeding and mindless public who are rushing towards their doom by living a lie and are the sacrificial victims of corrupt politicians, financiers, and bankers, who themselves will be ruined when the whole system comes down around their ears, bringing everything we think of as 'modern civilisation' with it. It will be very grim when it happens, very grim indeed. But at least people will stop chattering nonsense to each other on their cellphones at last and be forced to face something they don't at the moment know exists, known as Reality.

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