Banking At The Brink- Frontline series beginning on Feb 17, both broadcast TV and online

So much is still at stake that it’s hard to remember what happened even a few months ago when the Bush administration and Congress gave Wall Street its first bailout.

“Inside the Meldown”  is a post-traumatic-stress flashback: a searing look at how the treasury secretary at the time, Henry M. Paulson Jr., and others acted — and failed to act — in those fraught days in September when the world’s entire economic system seemed on the brink of evaporating. “Frontline” concludes that by refusing to rescue Lehman Brothers, Mr. Paulson kicked off the worldwide credit freeze and deepened the recession.

CNBC’s inquiry weaves together Wall Street bankers, first-time homeowners, mortgage brokers and even the mayor of a fishing town in Norway. Blame is spread far and wide, with no one culprit singled out — though Mr. Greenspan, unburdened by remorse and blithely philosophical about the inevitability of it all, indicts himself. Of the two programs this one is broader, more comprehensive and ultimately more compelling.  continue reading

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