Published on Jul 13, 2021
When COVID-19 struck, the Federal Reserve stepped in to try to avert economic crisis. As the country’s central bank continues to pump billions of dollars into the financial system daily, who is benefiting and at what cost?
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FRONTLINE investigates “The Power of the Fed” — and how the central bank’s actions have played out over the years on Wall Street versus Main Street — in a gripping new documentary.
From the award-winning investigative team behind “Amazon Empire” and “The Facebook Dilemma,” the film traces how an experiment the Fed began after the 2008 crash has been dramatically changing the American economy — exploring criticisms that, while well-intentioned, the Fed’s efforts have contributed to wealth inequality, helped today’s financial world grow far removed from the real-world economy, and prompted fears of growing inflation and an impending crash.
The documentary is supported by The WNET Group’s Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative that examines poverty, justice and economic opportunity in America.
The correspondent is James Jacoby. The writers and producers are Anya Bourg and James Jacoby. The co-producer is Megan Robertson. The senior producer is Frank Koughan. The executive producer is Raney Aronson-Rath.
For more reporting in connection with this investigation, visit FRONTLINE’s website: https://to.pbs.org/3B0YXGX
Published on Jul 5, 2017
Exploding real estate prices, zero interest rate and a rising stock market – the rich are getting richer. What danger lies in wait for average citizens?
For years, the world’s central banks have been pursuing a policy of cheap money. The first and foremost is the ECB (European Central Bank), which buys bad stocks and bonds to save banks, tries to fuel economic growth and props up states that are in debt. But what relieves state budgets to the tune of hundreds of billions annoys savers: interest rates are close to zero.
The fiscal policies of the central banks are causing an uncontrolled global deluge of money. Experts are warning of new bubbles. In real estate, for example: it’s not just in German cities that prices are shooting up. In London, a one-bed apartment can easily cost more than a million Euro. More and more money is moving away from the real economy and into the speculative field. Highly complex financial bets are taking place in the global casino – gambling without checks and balances. The winners are set from the start: in Germany and around the world, the rich just get richer. Professor Max Otte says: “This flood of money has caused a dangerous redistribution. Those who have, get more.” But with low interest rates, any money in savings accounts just melts away. Those with debts can be happy. But big companies that want to swallow up others are also happy: they can borrow cheap money for their acquisitions. Coupled with the liberalization of the financial markets, money deals have become detached from the real economy. But it’s not just the banks that need a constant source of new, cheap money today. So do states. They need it to keep a grip on their mountains of debt. It’s a kind of snowball system. What happens to our money? Is a new crisis looming? The film ‘The Money Deluge’ casts a new and surprising light on our money in these times of zero interest rates.