Daily Archives: May 5, 2016

The men who crashed the world


Uploaded on Sep 25, 2011

The first of a four-part investigation into a world of greed and recklessness that led to financial collapse.

In the first episode of Meltdown, we hear about four men who brought down the global economy: a billionaire mortgage-seller who fooled millions; a high-rolling banker with a fatal weakness; a ferocious Wall Street predator; and the power behind the throne.

The crash of September 2008 brought the largest bankruptcies in world history, pushing more than 30 million people into unemployment and bringing many countries to the edge of insolvency. Wall Street turned back the clock to 1929.

But how did it all go so wrong?

Lack of government regulation; easy lending in the US housing market meant anyone could qualify for a home loan with no government regulations in place.

Also, London was competing with New York as the banking capital of the world. Gordon Brown, the British finance minister at the time, introduced ‘light touch regulation’ – giving bankers a free hand in the marketplace.

All this, and with key players making the wrong financial decisions, saw the world’s biggest financial collapse.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:


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Documentary: The Wall Street Code

vpro international

Published on Nov 4, 2013

A thriller about a genius algorithm builder who dared to stand up against Wall Street. Haim Bodek, aka The Algo Arms Dealer.

From the makers of the much-praised Quants: the Alchemists of Wall Street and Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box. Now the long-awaited final episode of a trilogy in search of the winners and losers of the tech revolution on Wall Street. Could mankind lose control of this increasingly complex system?

Interested in broadcasting this documentary? Please contact VPRO Sales at sales.

Director: Marije Meerman
Research: Gerko Wessel

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After Disaster: Picking up the pieces in an age of climate change



Among the effects of climate change are more extreme weather events, such as Typhoon Haiyan, Superstorm Sandy, and a severe drought stretching across much of the Western United States. On this edition of Making Contact we’ll take a deeper look at the social and psychological impacts of climate change, and the weight of inaction.


  • Host: Laura Flynn
  • Contributing Producer: Aurora Almendral
  • Thanks: Cloud Mountain Foundation and Park Foundation for support of this program


  • Niki Stanley and Derice Klass, Far Rockaway residents
  • Zardos V. Abela, firefighter for the Bureau of Fire Protection in Tacloban, Philippines
  • Abigail Gewirtz, psychologist at the University of Minnesota
  • Stephan Wasik, Valley Fire survivor
  • Jeff Keenan, Valley Fire survivor
  • Erica Petersen, Valley Fire survivor
  • Manuel Orozco, Behavioral Health Fiscal Manager, Lake County Behavioral Health.

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Documentary: The Carlyle Connection

vpro international

Uploaded on Feb 9, 2012

A revealing documentary about the international world of private equity banking.

The Carlyle Group, one of the largest investment banks in the world, is based in Washington and has accumulated its capital mainly by investments in the defence industry. On their list of employees are people like Lou Gerstner (former chairman of IBM), George Bush Sr., James Baker III, John Major (former British Prime Minister) and Fidel Ramos (former Prime Minister of the Philipines). The Carlyle Group invests in areas that are closely tied to government policy: aero space and defense, telecom, real estate, health care and the banking business.

With 16 billion dollar under management they have the reputation of being the best-connected company in the world. Their list of private investors include George Soros, the Saudi Royal Family and the Bin Laden Family. How does the Carlyle Group operate, who are the people behind the Carlyle Group and how much power does Carlyle have? This film explores the fine line between the conflict of interests and a new global way of doing business.

Director: Shuchen Tan
Research: Gijs M. Swantee, Ger Wieberdink, Christina Berio
Producers: Mariska Schneider, Nicoline Tania
Editors in chief: Doke Romeijn, Frank Wiering, Hans Keller

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Daniel Aaron, pioneer in American Studies, dead at 103 | Harvard Gazette

By Jill Radsken, Harvard Staff Writer

May 4, 2016

Daniel Aaron, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of English and American Literature Emeritus, died Saturday in Cambridge. He was 103.

Professor remembered as gifted scholar and avid conversationalist

A pioneer in American Studies and a prolific author, Aaron was also instrumental in founding the Library of America canon of classics.

“Never have I known an intellectual and a great scholar who wore his learning so lightly, and with such capacity to delight,” said James Simpson, the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English and chair of the English Department. “Conversation with him was utterly singular. He had the knack of negative capability to an extraordinary degree: immersing himself entirely, chameleon-like, in his interlocutor, while simultaneously and quietly impressing his own delightful stamp on any meeting. He has a place of deep affection in the hearts of everyone who was lucky enough to be touched by his angelic smile and singular intelligence.”

The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Aaron was born Aug. 4, 1912, and orphaned by age 10. As a Harvard graduate student in the late 1930s, he was the first to study in the program that would become American Studies. In his 2007 memoir, “The Americanist,” he wrote of finding intellectual purpose through the lens of World War II.

Daniel Aaron’s century

By Corydon Ireland, Harvard Staff Writer | August 3, 2012

“The United States suddenly loomed as the last democratic bastion in the world after the German occupation of France in 1940. About then, I began to feel that it might be almost as important to understand American civilization as to preserve it.”

…(read more).

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Harvard Professor Daniel Aaron, founding president of the Library of America, dies at 103 – The Boston Globe

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File    Dr. Aaron, in 2001.

By Mark Feeney Globe Staff May 02, 2016

Daniel Aaron, the founding president of the Library of America and a defining figure in the field of American studies, died Saturday in Mount Auburn Hospital. The cause of death was complications of pneumonia, his daughter-in-law Anna Mundow said. A Cambridge resident, he was 103.

Dr. Aaron, who was Victor S. Thomas professor of English and American literature emeritus at Harvard University, once described himself as “part historian, part literary critic, part political theorist, an irregular in the ranks of the ‘non-Communist Left.’ ” His best-known book, “Writers on the Left: Episodes in American Literary Communism” (1961), brought together all those elements.

“I’ve never been purely concerned with literature,” Dr. Aaron said in a 2001 Globe interview. “My intellectual interests have been adulterated. There’s always been a social dimension to it.”

Andrew Delbanco, the Alexander Hamilton professor of American studies at Columbia University, taught with Dr. Aaron at Harvard in the 1970s. In an e-mail Sunday, Delbanco wrote: “Through a long lifetime of writing and teaching he showed how America could be better if only we lived up to our own ideals. We won’t see the likes of him again.”

…(read more).

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Published on Apr 27, 2016

Yanis Varoufakis considers himself a politician by necessity, not by choice. An economist and academic by training, he became Greece’s finance minister amidst the country’s financial crisis, creating an image for himself both beloved and reviled. He discusses his complicated role in his new book, And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future, and on the LIVE stage alongside renowned academic and theorist Noam Chomsky. YANIS VAROUFAKIS is the former finance minister of Greece. A professor of economic theory at the University of Athens and former member of parliament for Athens’ largest constituency, he is the author of The Global Minotaur, among other books. He lives in Athens. NOAM CHOMSKY is widely credited with having revolutionized the field of modern linguistics. Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works, which have been translated into scores of countries worldwide. Among his most recent books are Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Hopes and Prospects, and Masters of Mankind. Haymarket Books recently released twelve of his classic works in new editions. His latest books are What Kind of Creatures Are We? And Who Rules the World?

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