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Inside the Cataclysm

February 23, 2009

“It’s the economic equivalent of 9/11 in my view, having been here for both events, … sitting in that room with Hank Paulson saying to us, in very measured tones, no hyperbole, no excessive adjectives, that unless you act, the financial system of this country and the world will melt down in a matter of days. There was literally a pause in that room where the oxygen left.”

Sen. Christopher Dodd on the Wall Street crash of Sept. 2008

The PBS show Frontline recently aired a fascinating documentary on the financial meltdown that hit Wall Street and global markets last Fall.

The program, Inside the Meltdown, provides a blow-by-blow account of the events that led to the greatest economic crisis that has confronted the world since the Great Depression.

It covers all of the major players like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, JPMorgan Chase, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Timothy Geithner, and the US government. The program really captures the sense of grand historical drama that was being played out last fall as the titans of high finance and American political elites contemplated decisions that would determine, in no small measure, the fate of the world. The quote by Christopher Dodd above is from the documentary and crystallizes the gravitas of the unfolding events, which he personally participated in as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

It’s almost like witnessing the collapse of the Roman Empire before your very eyes.

Inside the Meltdown can be watched in its entirety on the PBS website.

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