FRONTLINE investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages.
As Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term, FRONTLINE takes a probing look at the first four years of his presidency.
How has the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision changed campaigns in America?
Four years ago, there was political consensus that climate change was one of the most pressing issues facing the world and the U.S. But now, after a great deal of spending and lobbying, politicians are refusing to do anything about it. A new documentary looks at why.
In May 2011, hundreds of thousands of Greeks swarmed into Syntagma Square in Athens to protest against the firesale of their country, their labor rights and their livelihoods to corrupt domestic elites and foreign financial interests.
In a matter of days, a protest camp was set up — organized on the principles of direct democracy, leaderless self-management and mutual aid — providing a glimpse of utopia in the midst of a devastating financial, political and social crisis. On June 28-29, during a Parliamentary vote on further austerity measures, the state finally responded with brutal force, eventually evicting the protesters from the square and crushing the radical potential of their social experiment.
A year later, Leonidas Oikonomakis and Jérôme Roos – PhD researchers at the European University Institute and co-authors of the activist blog ROARMAG.org – returned to Athens to speak to activists involved in the movement and the occupation of Syntagma Square, as well as WWII resistance hero Manolis Glezos. What follows is this dramatic portrait of a country veering on the brink of collapse; and the people who chose to struggle in order to build a new world on the ruins of the old.
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a book written by John Perkins and published in 2004. It provides Perkins’ account of his career with consulting firm Chas. T. Main in Boston. Before employment with the firm, he interviewed for a job with the National Security Agency (NSA). Perkins claims that this interview effectively constituted an independent screening which led to his subsequent hiring by Einar Greve, a member of the firm (and alleged NSA liaison) to become a self-described “economic hit man”. The book was allegedly referred to in an audio tape released by Osama Bin Laden in September 2009.
According to Perkins, he began writing Confessions of an Economic Hit Man in the 1980s, but “threats or bribes always convinced me to stop.”
According to his book, Perkins’ function was to convince the political and financial leadership of underdeveloped countries to accept enormous development loans from institutions like the World Bank and USAID. Saddled with debts they could not hope to pay, those countries were forced to acquiesce to political pressure from the United States on a variety of issues. Perkins argues in his book that developing nations were effectively neutralized politically, had their wealth gaps driven wider and economies crippled in the long run. In this capacity Perkins recounts his meetings with some prominent individuals, including Graham Greene and Omar Torrijos.
Perkins describes the role of an EHM as follows: Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly-paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools included fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.
‘In Transition’ is the first detailed film about the Transition movement filmed by those that know it best, those who are making it happen on the ground. The Transition movement is about communities around the world responding to peak oil and climate change with creativity, imagination and humour, and setting about rebuilding their local economies and communities. It is positive, solutions focused, viral and fun.
In the film you’ll see stories of communities creating their own local currencies, setting up their own pubs, planting trees, growing food, celebrating localness, caring, sharing. You’ll see neighbours sharing their land with neighbours that have none, local authorities getting behind their local Transition initiatives, schoolchildren making news in 2030, and you’ll get a sense of the scale of this emerging movement. It is a story of hope, and it is a call to action, and we think you will like it very much. It is also quite funny in places.