This is another in the excellent series of PBS documentaries in the Frontline strand, dealing with the financial crisis of 2008. It is a good partner to THE WARNING (2009, see my review) in the same series. However, this film comes close to portraying Hank Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury at the time of the meltdown, as a heroic figure. Others have said that he belongs in jail for the rest of his life for conspiracy and treason. Take your pick. But Paulson is no sweetie, and as former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Paulson is as tough as old leather boots. This particular film deals in particular with the collapse of Bear Stearns. One interesting detail revealed here is that the first of Bear Stearns's major clients to go against them publicly as the crisis blew up was, how did you guess, Goldman Sachs. Now isn't that just the most amazing coincidence. The impression one might get is that Bear Stearns was stitched up and handed over at two cents per share to some folks who were waiting for the pickings. Of course Bear Stearns was run in a crazy fashion, of course they were guilty of bad stuff, but the way it was brought to its knees and handed over to others is just a bit too neat. But there is no disputing that Paulson is a heroic figure. How could he not be, when he later let Goldman Sachs's main competitor, Lehman Brothers, go down, and then gave huge amounts of tax payers' money to Goldman Sachs. No conflict of interest there, surely. As a Saviour of the Universe, how can we possibly think he is a scoundrel?
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