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Money, Power and Wall Street 2x114

2013 Emmy® Award – Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting – Long Form

Episode One – Writers Guild Award: Documentary — Current Events

Since 2008, Wall Street and Washington have fought against the tide of the fiercest financial crisis since the Great Depression. What have they wrought? In a special 4-hour investigation, FRONTLINE tells the inside story of the struggles to rescue and repair a shattered economy, exploring key decisions, missed opportunities, and the unprecedented and uneasy partnership between government leaders and titans of finance that affects the fortunes of millions of people around the world.

In Part 1, FRONTLINE investigates how two U.S. administrations have confronted the crisis — while dealing with sharp internal divisions and a relationship with Wall Street marked by mistrust and dependence, mutual interests, and competing goals. The investigation charts the largest government bailout in U.S. history, a series of decisions that rewrote the rules of government and fueled a debate that would alter the country’s political landscape. Focusing on the Obama administration, FRONTLINE tells the story of a newly elected president with a mandate for change grappling with the multi-headed menace of economic instability, and with fundamental choices about winners and losers and the direction of his presidency.

In Part 2, the investigation pivots to the inner workings of global high finance, which four years after the crisis exploded remains largely shrouded in secrecy and laden with risk. While popular anger at bankers and the effects of reckless lending and borrowing has spread across much of the globe, effective regulatory reform remains elusive. Looking to Europe as well as America, FRONTLINE interviews leading bankers and officials to probe deeply into story of the big banks, how they developed, how they crashed, and whether many of the practices that contributed to the crisis remain clear and present dangers. Is the global economy again on the brink?