Monday, June 18, 2012

Money, Power, & Public Broadcasting

Money, Power, & Wall St. is a new Frontline mini-series that takes a boots on the ground view of Wall Street.  Episode 1 goes back to the mid-1990's and traces the origins of the creation of CDO's.  That may not sound very interesting at a glance, but when you consider the magnitude and impact that that one synthetic credit 'product' has had on millions of Americans, it should peak one's interest.  It was the trade heard round the world. It was a private market that avoided regulation, and "shifted risk" from the banks to the counter party. 

Hindsight is 20/20, but amazingly, Greenspan sided with the banks on these opaque derivative markets.  It just goes to show that sometimes the smartest minds in the world are blinded by their own self-confidence, the subtle undertow of the crowd, and an inadequate understanding of what they themselves do not know. 

I have only watched the first episode, but it seems like a very promising documentary.  Frankly, I am very tired of 'blaming' the banks, banksters, hedge funds, private equity, and whomever else we can throw in to the pot.  The damage is done.  Now we need to fix it.  In my viewing of EPS 1, it has been explained the how and the why of the CDS's creation, and hopefully the documentary continues its enlightening look behinds the scenes.

As noted above, this has and continues to affect millions of Americans everyday, therefore, I think it important to understand the beginnings and the evolution of our miseries so as to avoid them in the generations to come. 

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-George Santayana

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