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Breaking the Bank 1x57

The bets were huge and risky—billions of dollars on the housing market.  The upside was undeniable—superbanks reaped billions of dollars, dominated the landscape, and gobbled up competitors.  Then the bottom dropped out: the massive losses on Wall Street broke the banks.  In the worst crisis in decades, brand name banks are on the brink of failure. Now as the federal government contemplates a massive nationalization of the industry, FRONTLINE goes behind closed doors to tell the inside story of how things went so wrong so fast and to document efforts to stabilize the industry.

Veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk untangles the complicated financial web dragging down one particular superbank at the heart of the financial crisis. FRONTLINE tells the story of how the highest levels of the American government are struggling to react to a crisis they barely understand and are only marginally keeping afloat.