Tag Archives | Danny Schechter

Good Holiday Reads In A Dark And Depressing Time

Stock Exchange Practices and the Causes of the 1929 Wall Street CrashMy 12 Best Books of Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa About the Economic Crisis That Has Defined Our Times

Back in 2007, just as the markets began their meltdown, I started writing a book I called Plunder to investigate the then emerging economic calamity. I had a well-known agent representing me, and, at that time, had published ten books. My agent warned me that I was ahead of the curve but agreed that the subject couldn’t be timelier.

Before we were through, the manuscript went to and was returned by 30 publishers. I was told that there is only one person that a book like mine had to pass muster with, not an economist, not a book editor—but the book buyer who handles business books for Barnes and Noble. If she/she didn’t like it, forget it. (This was before the bottom dropped out of that company that was later nearly sold.)

So much for their business savvy.… Read the rest

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Obama’s Burden

With the midterm election less than a month away and the economic crisis unabated, the Obama Administration may be at a crossroads.

The President’s own advisor, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker says the financial system is “broken.” High unemployment is not dropping and home foreclosures are up. The Obamacrats are being blamed for the economic downturn and the economy has become ‘the issue’ of the November midterm elections.

The signs of an economic recovery are hard to see, and tensions with China, a leading trade partner, may be on the cusp of a trade war. Add to this the trillions poured into two wars we are not winning, and you have the elements of a perfect storm that some fear could lead to a depression or even a systemic collapse.

With the President’s popularity slipping and his opposition surging, (at least in the media if not in the streets) the Democrats are expected to lose many seats, if not, control of the Congress.… Read the rest

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Marching On Washington: The Joy Of Victory And The Agony Of Defeat As My Feet Hurt And Heart Ached

I have been marching on Washington—and covering marches for more years that I can remember. As a kid, I was part of the original March on Washington back in ’63. It was for jobs and freedom.

The jobs part was soon forgotten when the event was reduced to four words,  “I Have A Dream” in the historical memory.  Dr King’s hope for a non-racial America was not the only message, but it is all we remember as anthemic and iconic. Also forgotten, it was an expression of a grass roots movement from below struggling against violent and racist opposition. It was there to showcase that movement, not make a movie.

It was well organized but hardly as well-produced as The One Nation Marching Together rally this past weekend. This rally seemed like it was out together by special events specialists, the folks who run political conventions with everyone on message, giant screens, filler music, fast-pacing, catchy videos, hip musicians, and scripted intervals, not to mention American flags flying, the star spangled banner and a pledge of allegiance.… Read the rest

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When The Taliban Calls, Should You Answer?

How can we cover a war when we only cover one side? Do we live in a “Republic of Fear?”

There is a saying I may be twisting in the retelling to the effect of what you do unto others will be done onto you. In Karmic terms, it boils down to what goes around cones around.  These thoughts come to mind as I wrestle with a dilemma that seems to be worming its way out of the soil of a country at war overseas and with itself.

Earlier this week, I received a friend request on Facebook from one Abdullah Musafir. He identified himself as from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. His wall was filled with Islamic proverbs and reports on the killing of Western forces and battles with “cowardly terrorists,” i.e., NATO, Afghan soldiers and US Troops. There were reference to the destruction of “puppet” police vehicles and the use of IEDs.… Read the rest

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Bank Failures Show No Sign Of Stopping – Taxpayers Pick Up The Tab

The Wall Street Journal attracted a lot of attention yesterday with the headline “Banks Keep Failing, No End in Sight.” If you’ve been reading Danny Schechter’s posts about the never-ending recession and financial crisis, it may not come as a surprise, but if you drank the “Recession’s Over” Kool Aid being dispensed in Washington, it might surprise you to learn that since big fish Washington Mutual went bust, 279 more lenders have collapsed, and counting:

The largest number of bank failures in nearly 20 years has eliminated jobs, accelerated a drought in lending and left the industry’s survivors with more power to squeeze customers.

Some 279 banks have collapsed since Sept. 25, 2008, when Washington Mutual Inc. became the biggest bank failure on record. That dwarfed the 1984 demise of Continental Illinois, which had only one-seventh of WaMu’s assets. The failures of the past two years shattered the pace of the prior six-year period, when only three dozen banks died.

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It’s One Thing To Write About Others Losing Their Jobs, But What Happens When It Happens To You?

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

A Lament For Labor Day

When your life and your work is as entwined as mine has been—fusing the personal and the political over all these years, it may be stretching things to consider yourself unemployed but that’s what I am as Labor Day approaches.

Most of the media focuses on the big companies that have slashed their work forces (even as they hoard cash.) But small companies are also suffering, cutting back, and closing. They don’t get the subsidies or bailouts or the attention.

Companies like ours!

Last May, we decided to close our Globalvision office when the lease was up.  Our costs remained too high while revenues had dropped. We realized that we ourselves had become victims of the economic calamity that I had been warning about, and urging who ever would listen to respond to. It was, suddenly, not about someone else’s problems. They had literally come home.… Read the rest

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Firedoglake’s Movie Night: PLUNDER The Crime Of Our Time

plunder_art_dvdLisa Derrick hosted Danny Schechter for a live chat to discuss his movie, at Firedoglake:

How do you steal $196 trillion dollars and get away with it? In Plunder: The Crime of Our Time, journalist Danny Schechter dissects the crime scene, Wall Street.

Schechter goes for the meat of the matter in the mortgage crisis and economic meltdown, starting with pyramid Midas Bernie Madoff’s trial then interviewing those in the know, from economist Paul Krugman to convicted white collar criminal Sam Antar who reveals the intentionally dishonest practices that have resulted in over 10 million mortgage foreclosures.

From the collapse of Bear Stearns to government bailouts, lost homes and Paris, France, as the crisis spreads globally, Schechter explains with humor, insight and outrage the underhanded deals and shady events that ledup to the collapse which affected the lives of potentially billions of

Plunder is based on Schechter’s book of the same name and is a follow up to his earlier film In Debt We Trust< /a.

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Investigating Economic Organized Crime

The economic crisis needs to be investigated using RICO laws used against organized crime, says Danny Schechter, author and director of Plunder: The Crime of Our Time. Wall Street made billions off mortgage fraud, and all the busts of mortgage lenders in the world won't get the real culprits. Schechter joins GRITtv's Laura Flanders in studio to talk about the unreported story of the economic crisis, which continues to haunt millions of Americans, and which Paul Krugman recently referred to as the third depression.
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The Crime of the Century: A Review of “Plunder”

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

From Nick Pell at Red Star Times:

In a just world Michael Moore’s Capitalism would have been released on DVD for a niche crowd of professional weirdos and malcontents while Plunder would have made millions and garnered Academy Awards. Unlike the former which relied on the pulling of emotional heartstrings, sucking up to Barack Obama and Mr. Moore’s usual shenanigans, Plunder: The Crime of Our Time revolves around hard analysis. Plunder provides a detailed summary of the Rube Goldberg machine that collapsed the American economy.

Indeed, the investors who robbed America blind are only one part of the equation. They received a great deal of assistance from the regulatory agency tasked with defending Americans from just such a swindle. Plunder falls short on exploring just how such malfeasance at the highest levels of power is allowed to happen, though it does an admirable job of laying bare the function of such agencies.… Read the rest

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How To Stop The Economic War Sweeping The World

We are all still stuck in the “big Muddy.” No, not the wars of old or even the oil disaster.  The mud I am referring to is more like quicksand and it sucks anyone who wants to look at what happened in the financial crisis deeper and deeper into it.

Soon, you are buried in shifting sea of so-called “exotic financial instruments,” and tranches, derivatives, credit default swaps, naked short-selling, etc and so forth, ad fin item.  It’s murkier in there than in the oil-infested waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Stop, my head hurts.

A far simpler explanation, pervasive fraud and financial crime, has been ignored by most of our economic geniuses. As I made my film Plunder: The Crime of Our Time offering a “crime narrative,” I ran up against the denial that greeted my 2006 film In Debt We Trust warning of a meltdown. Then I was called, a “doom and gloomer.” Now I have just been ignored or considered simplistic.… Read the rest

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