Live Chat 1 p.m. ET: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole (Hour 1)


April 25, 2012
This is the first of four chats we’ll be hosting as part of our Money, Power and Wall Street series. On Thursday, 4/26, Andrew Ross Sorkin, editor of The New York Times DealBook, will be joining producers Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser at 2:30 p.m. ET for a live chat about hour 2.

What caused the financial crisis? And why were regulators so unprepared for it?

Simple questions. Yet, almost four years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, answers are still hotly debated.

In Money, Power and Wall Street, veteran FRONTLINE producers Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria document the origins of the crisis — not in a Wall Street boardroom, but a luxury hotel in Boca Raton, Fla., where, in the summer of 1994, a team of 20-something bankers pioneered an insurance product called a credit default swap.

Smith and Gaviria show how this innovative financial product — designed to reduce risk — planted the seeds of financial destruction.

Did public officials understand the risks posed by credit default swaps? Could government intervention have prevented the meltdown? And what, if anything, have the banks and the regulators learned from the past four years?

We’ve asked Martin and Marcela to join us for a live chat to discuss these questions, and take yours.

They’ll be joined by guest questioner/resident expert Gillian Tett, U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times, who was the first journalist to tell the full story of the Boca Raton meetings in her book Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets.

You can leave a question in the chat window below, and come by at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 25th to join the live discussion.

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus