January 22, 2013

PBS Frontline: How Wall Street got away with murder

John Doyle, Globe & Mail, Canada -The Untouchables (on Frontline, PBS, 10 p.m.) is a transfixing, enraging examination of why a small army of greedy-guts bank executives in bespoke suits, the ones who brought down an entire economy, are moseying around, fancy-free, and not in court or in the hoosegow.
It’s fair to wonder why. And, timed as it is to air one day after Barack Obama begins his second term as President of the United States, the program is a brutal indictment of his administration.

What happened in the collapse of various banks in 2008 was mind-boggling. The U.S. economy itself came to the brink of disintegration. Look around the world at the impact and it is devastating. As we now know, a vast network of banks, all in cahoots, led Europe and the United States into recession. (A very good read on the madness in Europe is Michael Lewis’s book Boomerang: Be prepared to be stunned by it.) Around Europe, former bank execs have been prosecuted and some are doing jail time. In the United States, nothing more than finger-pointing has happened.

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