Next Week: How the Financial Crisis Never Ended

April 24, 2012
FRONTLINE goes inside the global financial crisis in Money, Power and Wall Street, airing tonight and May 1. Check your local listings.

Money, Power and Wall Street continues next Tuesday (watch a preview above), with an inside look at how the Obama administration, including a divided economic team, has handled the crisis and how the financial world has returned to many of the practices that created the meltdown in the first place.

In hour three, FRONTLINE goes inside a dramatic meeting in March of 2009, when Obama’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers, and the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, pushed for strong action against the banks, including a possible government takeover of a major bank.

On the other side of the debate was Timothy Geithner, the New York Federal Reserve president who Obama had brought on as his Treasury secretary. Geithner warned that taking on the banks in the midst of the crisis could backfire.

Hour four investigates an ugly trail of deals bankers made, extending from a small American city to big European capitals. For more than three years, regulators have tried to fix an industry steeped in conflicts of interest, excessive risk taking and incentives to cheat.

You’ll hear from insiders about the tricks bankers play to make more money, and how a culture of bonuses keeps the incentive to cheat high. New rules and regulations are being written, but can they fend off the next crisis?

“Here we are three years-plus after, and very little has changed,” says Phil Angelides, the chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. “In many respects, the financial crisis never ended.”

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