This documentary looks at the factors that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the efforts made by then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Timothy...
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This documentary looks at the factors that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the efforts made by then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Timothy Geithner, and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke to save the United States from an economic collapse.
Riveting documentary with all the main players looking back, now a decade later
"Panic: The Untold Story of the 20098 financial Crisis" (2018 release; 96 min.) is a documentary on the roots of the 2008 financial crisis, how the crisis itself unfolded, and most importantly, the unintended long-term consequences of it all. As the documentary opens, we are "September 11, 2018", as all of the main players from a decade earlier get together for a remembrance dinner. We then go back to "May 9, 2006", not long after Henk Paulson has joined the Bush administration as the Treasury Secretary, and the market is showing signs of a housing bubble. It sets into motion a financial crisis of unimaginable proportions. At this point we are 10 min. into the film.
Couple of comments: the film makers concentrate on the three main guys: then Treasury Secretary Henk Paulson, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Timothy Geithner, and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke. These three band together as a triumvirate and rarely decide anything without consulting each other. Interestingly, all three make clear that they are motivated to do whatever it takes to avoid another Great Depression. Of course many others are featured as well. Several things are striking: (i) when facing calamity, the political leaders in Washington came together and acted in a bipartisan way that is simply and utterly unthinkable in today's climate; (ii) "we should've done a better job explaining to the public what we were doing", sighs Paulson, and he is right of course; mostly lost in the narrative of the financial industry's bailout is the inconvenient truth that all of the $700 billion TARP bailout money was repaid WITH INTEREST to the US government; (iii) perhaps most surprisingly, former President George W. Bush comes across as a calming yet resolute leader who lets the experts do their job (meaning, the complete opposite of the current POTUS).
The last 15 min. of the documentary are the most revealing, as it just "the straight line between the the financial crisis and the populism in today's politics, linked by the rise of the Tea Party starting in 2009. It is absolutely devastating to see how in just a single decade we are now living in a world of untruths, disinformation, lies, conspiracy theorists, the real v. imagined "deep state", and the shocking incompetence and complete lack of leadership coming from the current POTUS and his administration. Meanwhile, "Panic: The Untold Truth of the 2008 Financial Crisis" is a riveting documentary that contains a lot of valuable lessons to understand how we got where we are today.
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