Business / Economy / Financial

PROGRAMS

53:42CliffhangerFeb. 12, 2013
53:36The UntouchablesJan. 22, 2013
53:42Alaska GoldJul. 24, 2012
21:06Six Billion Dollar BetMay. 22, 2012
3:47:25Money, Power and Wall StreetApr. 24, 2012
53:36Murdoch's ScandalMar. 27, 2012
+ MORE PROGRAMS

STORIES

Still “Untouchable”? Policing Wall St. 5 Years After the Crisis

Has Wall Street permanently escaped accountability? FRONTLINE asks a group of leading journalists to explore what the meltdown has meant for the policing of Wall St.

The Financial Crisis Five Years Later — How It Changed Us

It has been five years since the financial crisis began, and though the economy is on the mend, the legacy of the crash still reverberates. On the anniversary of the collapse, FRONTLINE joins with a group of leading journalists to explore how the meltdown has reshaped the nation.

Survey: One in Four on Wall Street Open to Insider Trading

If public confidence in Wall Street remains battered from the financial crisis, a new survey of ethics in the financial services industry is unlikely to help.

What Does the American Dream Mean to You?

We asked. Here’s what you told us. We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories about what the American Dream means today.

Photos: Milwaukee’s Industrial Past

There was a time, not long ago, when Milwaukee factories made many of America’s most iconic products: leather saddles, tractors, motors and, of course, beer.

Is There Hope for the Middle Class? – Live Chat Transcript

Join us for a live chat about “Two American Families” with the filmmakers and Keith Stanley. Our guest questioner is David Rohde, a Pulitzer-prize winning author and investigative journalist for Thomson Reuters and the Atlantic.

What’s Happened to the Two American Families?

The latest on the Neumann and Stanley families.

Surviving the New American Economy

Bill Moyers asks two experts about how a changing economy is affecting America’s working-class families.

The State of America’s Middle Class in Eight Charts

Over the last several decades, middle class families have struggled to keep pace with smaller paychecks, mounting debt and shrinking opportunities for steady work.

The Middle Class and the New American Economy

Ahead of the FRONTLINE premiere of “Two American Families,” Bill Moyers explores how middle class families are surviving.

New Insight into MF Global’s Frenzied Final Days

Emails and phone transcripts cited in the CFTC’s complaint against former MF Global head Jon Corzine provide new insight into how more than $1 billion in customer money went missing.

In Milwaukee, a Family’s Struggle for Survival

Preview FRONTLINE’s “Two American Families,” coming July 9 from correspondent Bill Moyers.

What Happened to the American Dream?

Since 1992, Bill Moyers has been following the story of two ordinary, hard-working families in Milwaukee — one black, one … Continue reading

Rethinking Past Settlements, SEC Aims For More Mea Culpas

New SEC Chairman Mary Jo White says she is looking to boost accountability.

JPMorgan To Lose $842 Million In Toxic Ala. Sewer Deal

The saga of the botched bond deal that led to the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history may finally be nearing an end.

Financial Regulators Turn Their Focus To Non-Banks

U.S. regulators have for the first designated three non-banks as systemically important financial institutions fit for tougher government oversight.

Is Wall Street Still “Untouchable”?

In “The Untouchables,” which re-airs tonight on FRONTLINE, correspondent Martin Smith examines why not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for fraud tied to the sale of bad mortgages.

Eric Holder Backtracks Remarks on “Too Big To Jail”

The attorney general on Wednesday sought to walk back earlier comments that some financial institutions may be too large to prosecute.

How Do You Know Which Financial Adviser to Trust?

The Labor Department is looking to raise standards among financial advisers, but opposition from industry groups, lawmakers and even some consumer advocates threatens to sink the proposal.

How Retirement Fees Cost You

Most Americans are unaware of the fees they are paying for their 401(k)’s, but over a lifetime, such charges can cost an ordinary American more than $109,000. Here’s how.

Are You Losing the Retirement Gamble? Live Chat Transcript

Join a live chat about “The Retirement Gamble” on 4/24 at 2 p.m. ET with producer Marcela Gaviria, correspondent, Martin Smith, 401(k) expert, Robert Hiltonsmith and Money magazine editor-at-large, Penelope Wang.

What to Ask About Your Retirement

We asked three experts what the important questions are.

Five Moments that Shaped the 401(k)

In the 1980s, the 401(k) began its climb from an obscure section of the IRS tax code to what is now the predominant workplace retirement option. How did it happen?

Index Funds: The Key to Saving for Retirement?

Index funds have gone from a once ridiculed answer to retirement planning to one of the fastest growing corners of the market. They promise consistency, but what are the downsides?

John Bogle: The “Train Wreck” Awaiting American Retirement

A toxic mix of too much choice, backwards incentives, and a misplaced faith in the market’s past performance has positioned America’s retirement system for an uncertain future, says the founder of The Vanguard Group.

Helaine Olen: Why Your 401(k) Retirement Plan is Failing You

Most financial planners would say you need about $1 million to ensure a decent retirement, but “absolutely almost no one is there right now,” says journalist Helaine Olen.

ARCHIVED PROGRAMS

May. 27, 2004

The Way the Music Died

(60 minutes) The troubled music industry and the tough new realities that aspiring artists now face. (Web site »)
Feb. 19, 2004

Tax Me if You Can

(60 minutes) Investigating bogus tax shelters and the highly respected accounting, banking and law firms that are behind them. (Web site »)
Jul. 3, 2003

Public Schools, Inc.

(60 minutes) Ten years after "edupreneur" Chris Whittle first announced his bold plan to revolutionize the way we educate children, Whittle's Edison Schools continue to be a lightening rod for the issue of for-profit, public education. FRONTLINE and the PBS education series The Merrow Report join forces with The New York Times to investigate the intertwined fortunes of Edison Schools and its charismatic yet controversial leader, and examine whether it's possible to create world-class schools that turn a profit. (Web site »)
Jun. 19, 2003

The Other Drug War

(60 minutes) Why are prescription drug prices so high? The battle between U.S. consumers and the drug industry. (Web site »)
May. 8, 2003

The Wall Street Fix

(60 minutes) How Wall Street drove the telecom boom, took enormous profits, and left millions of investors with worthless stocks. (Web site »)
Apr. 24, 2003

Cyber War!

(60 minutes) How vulnerable is America to an attack from cyberspace? And what would be the prime targets? (Web site »)
Jan. 9, 2003

A Dangerous Business

(60 minutes) An investigation into one of the most dangerous workplaces in America. (Web site »)
Jun. 20, 2002

Bigger Than Enron

(60 minutes) How U.S. investors lost $200 billion due to the greed and fraud of accountants, corporations and politicians. (Web site »)
Apr. 18, 2002

Modern Meat

(60 minutes) A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control found that a single fast-food hamburger contained beef from more than 100 cows. In the last few decades, American meat production has become a highly mechanized and centralized industry, bringing about significant changes not only in the way meat is produced but also in the way Americans eat. These changes have forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture to institute a new meat inspection process, which gives far greater control to the powerful meat industry. This spring, FRONTLINE investigates the modern meat industry and the safety of our current meat supply. <br> (Web site »)
Feb. 21, 2002

Roll Over: The Hidden History of the SUV

(60 minutes) From industrial hauler to Americas new station wagon, the SUV has been a spectacular success story, both satisfying and reflecting the tastes of the American consumer. Was the rise of the SUV enabled, even encouraged, by Washington regulators with close ties to the industry? And did they overlook serious safety and environmental flaws in the vehicle that continue to haunt it? FRONTLINE presents an in-depth report of the vehicle that turned Detroits fortunes around and asks what consumers really know about their SUVs and those charged with making them safe. (Web site »)
Jan. 24, 2002

Dot Con

(60 minutes) For a few heady years, it seemed that just about anyone -- from institutional investors to the average person following CNBC -- could make quick and easy money by putting their cash into the dreams of the Internet. What spurred the incredible dot-com bull run on Wall Street? Was the public blinded by dreams of small fortunes and easy living or did the nation's investment banks manipulate the IPO market and exploit public trust? In "Dot Con," FRONTLINE investigates the financial forces behind the unprecedented rise and seemingly overnight fall of the Internet economy. (Web site »)
Nov. 22, 2001

The Monster that Ate Hollywood

(60 minutes) The box office is booming. New international markets are opening weekly. Amazing advances in technology hold the promise of new delivery systems. Yet there's trouble bubbling just below the surface in Hollywood today as movie industry creative types struggle to adapt to new business realities. On the eve of one of the biggest weekends for new movie releases, FRONTLINE explores the changing Hollywood, revealing how once-fiercely independent studio bosses must now answer to the megacorporations that have swallowed the industry whole. (Web site »)
Jun. 5, 2001

Blackout

(60 minutes) Power shortages. Rolling blackouts. Skyrocketing utility bills. California's power disaster has made "energy" a national front-burner issue. The state's power crunch has affected everyone from homeowners and small businesses to the big-business consumers of electricity who originally pushed for deregulation. Now, the state's largest utility, PG& E, has filed for bankruptcy. <br><br>But is California's energy crisis the result of flawed deregulation and the weather-or, as some charge, market manipulation by a new breed of power entrepreneurs? Or a bit of both? And could other states face similar energy shortages? (Web site »)
Mar. 27, 2001

Organ Farm

(120 minutes) Imagine a world where every patient who needed an organ transplant could receive one right away. Such a future is promised by xenotransplantation, the experimental process of transplanting genetically modified pig cells and organs into humans. But while a scientific breakthrough in cross-species transplants could offer hope to millions of desperately ill patients, such procedures could introduce new infectious agents into the human population, posing a public health risk to millions. Do the benefits of xenotransplantation outweigh the still-unknown dangers? FRONTLINE presents a rare inside look at the multi-billion dollar xenotransplantation industry, including a secret transgenic pig organ farm somewhere in North America. FRONTLINE presents extraordinary cutting-edge footage of the organs being developed and an unprecedented glimpse into a bio-secure, air-locked barrier world where science fiction may soon become science fact. (Web site »)
Feb. 13, 2001

Hackers

(60 minutes) Designed to facilitate the free exchange of ideas, the Internet has become home to confidential-even classified-information from virtually every nation in the world. Financial information, national infrastructure, even state secrets can be accessed via the complex computer network that is the World Wide Web. But how safe is that information if computer-literate teenagers can break into top-security computer systems, infect them with viruses, or steal sensitive-even dangerous-documents? FRONTLINE investigates the role of hackers and reveals how their exploits highlight the profound insecurities of the Internet and the software that drives it. Through interviews with teenagers, information warriors, security experts, and law enforcement officials, FRONTLINE illuminates a virtual world where many of our most sacred beliefs-including the very notion of bordered nations-are called into question. (Web site »)
Apr. 4, 2000

Dr Solomon's Dilemma

(60 minutes) In the 1990s, cost-cutting HMOs were reviled as the enemy of doctors and patients. After fighting to regain control of the medical process, doctors are now struggling to manage tough financial decisions as well as patient care. On a daily basis, doctors find themselves faced with the often excruciating responsibility of balancing quality care against their own bottom line. FRONTLINE correspondent Hedrick Smith goes inside one of Harvard Medical Schools premier teaching hospitals and discovers Dr. Martin Solomon, a highly rated primary care physician, embroiled in the most bitter conflict of his career. He and his colleagues battle with each other over cutting costs, worry about the impact of red ink on their own income, and fear the struggle between care and costs will not only damage quality but will ultimately tear apart the trust between doctors and patients. (Web site »)
Jun. 29, 1999

The Crash

(60 minutes) FRONTLINE explores the global crisis that began as a real estate bust in Thailand and roared through the worlds economyfrom Bangkok to Jakarta to Moscow to Wall Street. On August 31, 1998, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 512 points, wiping out stock market gains for the entire year. In the United States, small investors watched more than half a trillion dollars of their savings disappear. Fear spread that the global economy was falling apart. The program gathers some of the worlds leading financial analysts to unravel the reasons for the crash of 1998 and to predict whetherand whenit will happen again.<br><br>The web site will take a closer look at how the 1998 world financial crisis played out in one country; examine the most significant ideas under discussion for reforming the global economic system; and,will present more of the in-depth interviews with the experts as well as a special readings and links section. (Web site »)
Apr. 14, 1998

The High Price of Health

(60 minutes) Today, providing health care is a profit-driven enterprise which is subject to the forces of the marketplace and operated by administrators with their eyes on the bottom line. But has too much of the decision-making power been taken away from the doctors, nurses, and patients? FRONTLINE looks at how in the wake of a failed attempt by the Clinton administration to provide universal health care for every American, the industry has undergone a dramatic transformation. The film examines the changing health-care industry through an in-depth look at how California and Massachusetts hospitals are coping with this health-care revolution. (Web site »)
Nov. 11, 1997

A Whale of a Business

(60 minutes) America's marine theme parks are big business, attracting twenty million visitors each year. FRONTLINE examines the money, power, and politics of the captive marine mammal industry through the story of Keiko, the killer whale star of Hollywood's, FREE WILLY. The film traces Keiko's fourteen years in captivity, examines the capture, transport, and treatment of marine mammals, and explores human understanding of, and relationship with, these large creatures. (Web site »)
Jun. 10, 1997

Easy Money

(60 minutes) Casino gambling -- once the domain of mobsters and hustlers -- has emerged as one of the most popular forms of adult entertainment. Since 1992, gaming revenues have doubled along with the number of states that have made it legal. Today, the gaming industry is no longer an outlaw business, but it is a national economic force with substantial political muscle. FRONTLINE chronicles how America's gaming industry has gone legit and examines the evolution of its political influence. The film also explores the astonishing growth of Indian gaming and the surprising role governments have played in promoting and legitimizing gambling. (Web site »)
Jun. 3, 1997

Hot Guns

(60 minutes) Two years ago, Evelyn Garcia was shot to death. Police arrested her husband -- a twice convicted felon -- but when they tried to trace the murder weapon, the manufacturer said the gun had never been made. How could a gun that kills not exist? FRONTLINE and the Center for Investigative Reporting take viewers inside the illegal handgun market and follow federal agents as they investigate one of their biggest cases ever into stolen guns and the illicit gun market. (Web site »)
Jan. 14, 1997

Betting on the Market

(60 minutes) For fourteen years, Wall Street has produced record gains and has been embraced by America as the place where hopes and dreams can be realized -- but does America understand the nature of the risk? Since the beginning of the 1980s, close to half the nation has invested in the stock market directly or through mutual funds, which now hold three trillion dollars of the American public's money. Frontline traces the seduction of an entire generation of Americans into the stock market and looks at its implications for the nation. The program follows Garrett Van Wagoner, one of the nation's hottest mutual fund managers, and tells the story of Peter Lynch, celebrated manager of Fidelity's Magellan Fund. (Web site »)
May. 21, 1996

Does America Still Work?

(60 minutes) At the height of the Rust Belt primaries, FRONTLINE goes to Wisconsin where presidential candidates tap the deep-seated anxiety and insecurity that fuels tensions between American businesses and their employees. Correspondent Jeff Madrick looks behind the heated political rhetoric to see how companies, workers, and civic leaders are wrestling with global competition and the end of an era of industrial affluence. In a volatile economic climate, what do corporations owe their employees and their communities? (Web site »)
Apr. 2, 1996

Smoke in the Eye

(60 minutes) FRONTLINE investigates the war between network news and the tobacco industry in the wake of the $10 billion libel suit against ABC and the controversial decision by CBS not to allow 60 MINUTES to air an explosive interview with a tobacco company whistle-blower. As media companies increasingly come under the control of large corporations, will their newsrooms continue to aggressively report on corporate America? (Web site »)
Nov. 7, 1995

Who's Afraid of Rupert Murdoch?

(90 minutes) In the last forty years, Rupert Murdoch has gone from publisher of a marginal newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, to chairman of one of the world's largest and wealthiest media empires. His business acumen combined with a gambling spirit has made him an enormously successful player in the communications industry. FRONTLINE correspondent Ken Auletta probes Murdoch's drive to establish the first global telecommunications network and examines how Murdoch's success has been dogged by controversy over journalistic standards and the use of political influence.
Oct. 31, 1995

High Stakes in Cyberspace

(60 minutes) FRONTLINE boldly goes where no one has gone before--tracking the new land rush to stake claims in cyberspace and asking hard questions about the optimistic predictions for a cyber-revolution. Correspondent Robert Krulwich reports on the effects these changes will have on the individual and how they will alter society. (Web site »)
Nov. 8, 1994

How to Steal $500 Million

(60 minutes) Michael 'Mickey' Monus, the flamboyant co-founder and president of Phar-Mor, awaits criminal trial to decide if he was responsible for one of the largest corporate frauds in U.S. history. FRONTLINE tells the story of Phar-Mor's rapid rise and stunning fall and reveals how, for five years, the company's top executives were able to hide a $500 million shortfall from the company's auditors.
Nov. 1, 1994

Hot Money

(60 minutes) Frontline investigates a financial revolution--the movement of most of the world's money to huge off-shore banking centers, many located on the tiny islands of the Caribbean. The program examines how the secrecy and lax regulation of these off-shore centers play a critical role in facilitating international crime--money laundering, insurance fraud, and tax evasion.
Feb. 1, 1994

The Diamond Empire

(90 minutes) Second only to Christmas, Valentine's Day is the holiday when diamonds are most often given as the ultimate token of love. Central to the diamond's role as a romantic symbol is the belief that diamonds are one of the rarest, most precious gifts for a loved one. But it's only a myth--diamonds are found in plentiful supply. FRONTLINE examines how the great myth about the scarcity of diamonds and their inflated value was created and maintained over the decades by the diamond cartel. This report chronicles how one family, the Oppenheimers of South Africa, gained control of the supply, marketing, and pricing of the world's diamonds.
Oct. 12, 1993

The Heartbeat of America

(90 minutes) FRONTLINE opens its twelfth season with the story of General Motors--the world's largest industrial company and the symbol of corporate America's once golden age of optimism. A co-production with the Center for Investigative Reporting, the program examines how GM went from being the undisputed number-one car company to suffering a $23.5 billion loss last year--the biggest U.S. corporate loss on record. Can GM halt its decline? What went wrong? FRONTLINE looks for answers to those questions in this saga of a once mighty company that is struggling to regain its past glory. At stake are the livelihoods of GM's 736,000 workers worldwide and millions more who produce the steel, glass, rubber, and plastic that go into GM cars and trucks. [90 minutes]
Jun. 23, 1992

Your Loan Is Denied

(60 minutes) Peter and Dolores Green, African-American professionals, are suing a Chicago-area bank for refusing to finance their purchase of the home they have lived in for 30 years. Correspondent Bill Schechner finds mortgage-lending discrimination a systemic problem in America's financial institutions. In a co-production with the Center for Investigative Reporting, Frontline examines the devastating effects of discriminatory lending practices on neighborhoods fighting for economic survival.
Apr. 21, 1992

The Bank of Crooks and Criminals

(60 minutes) Frontline examines the global banking scandal surrounding the Bank of Credit & Commerce International by tracking the aggressive investigation of the case by New York District attorney Robert Morgenthau. This report investigates the origins of BCCI, how it became a conduit for terrorism, arms deals, and drug money laundering, how its influence spread to political power brokers in the US, and why agencies of the US government were so slow to respond to the growing scandal.
Feb. 18, 1992

Coming from Japan

(60 minutes) The Matsushita Electric Company is one of the largest corporations in the world, with a controversial history in the US stretching back more than 30 years. Shuichi Kato, a leading social critic in Japan, joins Frontline in an investigation of the conflicts that have surrounded Matsushita in the US and explores some of the larger moral and cultural issues that confront Japan as it expands rapidly abroad.
Nov. 19, 1991

Losing the War with Japan

(90 minutes) Frontline looks at the challenge Japanese-style capitalism poses to the US market. The program examines three industries-automobile, video games, and flat panel displays used in computers. Robert Krulwich introduces the hour-long documentary and anchors a closing half-hour roundtable discussion.
Oct. 22, 1991

The Great American Bailout

(60 minutes) The biggest financial disaster in US history continues. Four years into the process of selling off failed savings and loan assets, the Resolution Trust Corporation, the federal agency charged with managing the bailout, hasn't stopped the rising cost - estimated at $600-700 billion in taxpayers' dollars and climbing. In a co-production with the Center for Investigative Reporting, Frontline correspondent Robert Krulwich uncovers the inside story of mismanagement and politics and tells how the bailout itself is now in need of rescue.
Oct. 2, 1990

Global Dumping Ground: Frontline Special

(60 minutes) Correspondent Bill Moyers investigates America's shadowy new industry-the international export of toxic waste-revealing how shipping deadly wastes to third-world countries has become an enormous business in the US.
May. 1, 1990

Other People's Money

(60 minutes) The savings and loan scandal is the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression and will cost US taxpayers an estimated $315 billion. Frontline investigates Charles Keating, Jr., and the role politics played in the $2.5 billion failure of his Lincoln Savings and Loan.
Mar. 28, 1989

Prescriptions for Profit

(60 minutes) Frontline reporter Joe Rosenbloom investigates abuses in the fiercely competitive marketing and promotion of prescription drugs by the pharmaceutical manufacturers. The program explores the dangers of hype and hard sell applied to widely prescribed arthritis medications and how the industry tries to influence the prescribing habits of doctors.
Jan. 31, 1989

The Battle for Eastern Airlines

(60 minutes) Donald Trump's recent purchase of Eastern Airlines' shuttle focused national attention once again on the fight for this troubled airline. Frontline correspondent Robert Kuttner chronicles the saga of Eastern's ongoing labor-management disputes and the behind-the-scenes struggles between Charlie Bryan, head of the machinists' union, and Texas Air's Frank Lorenzo, as well as the fate of the experiment in joint union and management ownership of Eastern under former astronaut Frank Borman.
Apr. 26, 1988

American Game, Japanese Rules

(60 minutes) Can America succeed in Japan? Frontline paints an intimate portrait of Americans living and working in Japan-baseball players, businessmen, and an American bride-all confronting a society that looks Western, but operates by a very different set of rules.
May. 13, 1986

Hollywood Dreams

(60 minutes) Hollywood is called an industry, a place, a state of mind. But making it in Hollywood, and making movies, persists as part of the American dream. In the real world of agents, casting directors, aspiring actors, and studio executives, how are movies made? Frontline examines the fantasy and reality of Hollywood's five billion dollar a year industry.
May. 28, 1985

Breaking the Bank

(60 minutes) In 1984, there were more bank failures in the US than at any time since the Great Depression. Correspondent Judy Woodruff investigates one of the largest banks that failed, Penn Square in Oklahoma City, and another which nearly failed, Continental Illinois in Chicago, to examine the implications on the nation's banking system.
May. 14, 1985

You Are in the Computer

(60 minutes) You go to rent an apartment and are turned down without any obvious reason. Then you find out your name is in a computer file of undesirable tenants and every other landlord in the city has access to the information. Correspondent Robert Krulwich investigates computerized information systems and the issues of privacy they raise.
Jan. 23, 1984

We Are Driven

(60 minutes) The industrial might of Japan has taken the U.S. by storm as American corporations begin to adopt the Japanese style of management, stressing worker involvement in a family-like corporate environment. Frontline looks at the darker side of Japanese labor relations through the tough management style of the Nissan Motor Company in Japan and Smyrna, Tennesee.
Jul. 11, 1983

Moneylenders

(60 minutes) Developing countries have borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars from Western banks. Some of the biggest borrowers, Brazil and Mexico,are struggling even to repay the interest. Correspondent Anthony Sampson finds that threats to repudiate the loans are causing American bankers to fear financial catastrophe.
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