Five years ago this week Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in history, putting the wheels in motion for the Great Recession. In the years since, Bill has spoken with many experts about the triggers that led to the financial crisis and the reforms that are needed to prevent it from happening again. Here are a few of those conversations.
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Gretchen Morgenson speaks to Bill about the fallout from the financial crisis. Five years after the country’s economic near-collapse, she says banks are still too big to fail, too big to manage and too big to trust.
Bill speaks with Paul Volcker, the namesake of the Volcker Rule — a section of the Dodd-Frank Act that aims to keep the banks in which you deposit your money from gambling it on their own. Volker, who formerly headed President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, defends the rule — which hordes of lobbyists are working hard to destroy.
Bill sat down with Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi and Yves Smith, creator of the finance and economics blog Naked Capitalism, to discuss the folly and corruption of both banks and government and how that tag-team leaves deep wounds in our democracy.
Bill sat down with former Citigroup Chairman John Reed to explore how the mid-90s merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group – and a friendly presidential pen — brought down the Glass-Steagall Act, a crucial firewall between banks and investment firms. Bill says by killing Glass-Steagall, they put the watchdog to sleep.
Bill spoke with former Sen. Byron Dorgan, who predicted economic calamity following the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. Dorgan talks about the importance of rules that protect consumers from financial calamity and how big banks continue to leverage power to avoid responsibility while maximizing profits.
Bill spoke with Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general in charge of policing TARP, the bailout’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. The two discussed the critical yet unmet need to tackle banking reform and avoid another financial meltdown.
Another classic interview from the Bill Moyers Journal days: William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the 1980s savings and loan crisis, tells Bill that the tool at the epicenter of mortgage collapse, creating triple-A rated bonds out of “liars’ loans” — loans issued without verifying income, assets or employment — was a fraud and the banks knew it.