The Buzz Around “Money, Power and Wall Street”


April 25, 2012

Financial journalists, Occupy Wall Street activists and even a senior economic adviser to President Obama all took to the internet to talk about last night’s broadcast of the first half of Money, Power and Wall Street, FRONTLINE’s four-hour investigation into the global financial crisis.

Crain’s New York notes Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s interview with CNBC this morning and wondered about its timing:

A day after PBS’s Frontline broadcast an illuminating critique of Wall Street during the housing bubble and collapse, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein popped up on CNBC for his first television interview in two years. His message: Despite Goldman’s many public-relations snafus and business challenges, he is sticking around a good deal longer.

Last night’s film began with a sober look at derivatives and credit default swaps — some of the financial instruments tied to mortgage loans that helped lead to the financial meltdown in 2008 — through the eyes of some of those who invented them. A review in The Atlantic Wire today praises FRONTLINE’s explanation:

Terms like ‘credit derivatives’ and ‘credit default swap’ have been making non-finance types’ heads (and some finance folks’ heads too) spin for years now, theoretical, labyrinthine sleights of hand that they are. Last night’s documentary did a good job of explaining these destructive viruses without becoming an alienating technical schematic. It put a human face on the concepts, interviewing people who were tangentially or directly responsible for creating these risky entities…

Austan Goolsbee, a former economic adviser to President Obama who was interviewed for the film, added insights into some of the challenges the economic team confronted:



Goolsbee even responded to some of the criticisms from Sheila Bair, the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, about the administration’s handling of the crisis:



Throughout the broadcast, journalists and financial reporters tweeted their insights and reactions, including…

Clara Jeffrey, the co-editor of Mother Jones:



Fortune‘s Katie Benner:



Marketplace‘s Heidi Moore:



And POLITICO‘s Ben White, who laid down a challenge about one image in the film (embedded at the top of this post):



(Answer: Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Time’s Sam Gustin got it.)

Others noted the impressive line-up of interviews with financial journalists who were on top of the story:







If you’re like @Dinamico_7, who saw the buzz about Money, Power and Wall Street, but don’t know where to watch…



Our website has you covered, where you watch the first two hours, dig into “The FRONTLINE Interviews” and explore more:



Don’t forget! The second half of Money, Power and Wall Street airs next week:



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