New PBS Investigation Takes Viewers Inside The Financial Collapse
“Breaking the Bank” is a documentary that will be first broadcast tonight on some PBS stations. This is Michael Kirk’s most provocative and insightful work so far in which viewers get a chance to understand the underlying forces of the recent financial collapse.
It is focused on the controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America right after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. At the center of the high tension drama were then Chairman & CEO of Bank Of America’s Ken Lewis & former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.
The investigative PBS piece on FRONTLINE reports that Paulson offered Lewis billions of taxpayers’ money to cover Merrill Lynch’s toxic assets. This was, however, kept secret for a month. Lewis now claims that he was coerced by Paulson into the deal.
Ken Lewis was stripped of his dual role at Bank of America (as Chairman and CEO) in May as a result of that transaction.
Lewis testified on June 11 at a hearing in Congress that he was told by both Fed Chairman Bernanke and Paulson that his job and the US economy at large were on the line if the deal with Merrill Lynch didn’t happen. During the hearing, a Congressman went as far as calling the deal a ” shot gun wedding “.
View a preview/clip of “Breaking the Bank” and get scheduling information for your specific area.
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