Tag Archives | Wall Street Series

Wall Street Self-Dealing Exposed

The dynamic duo of ProPublica and Planet Money has unleashed another story that details the Wall Street shenanigans that exacerbated the financial collapse.

The story, “Banks’ Self-Dealing Super-Charged Financial Crisis,” chronicles how over the last two years of the housing bubble, Wall Street banks perpetrated one of the greatest episodes of self-dealing in financial history.

Faced with increasing difficulty in selling the mortgage-backed securities that had been among their most lucrative products, the banks hit on a solution that preserved their quarterly earnings and huge bonuses:

They created fake demand.

Read the story and learn how they did it.

There is also an entertaining version that aired on NPR’s Morning Edition.

But wait, there’s more… The multimedia extravaganza continues with a podcast we did with Planet Money that goes into a lot more detail.

And with all this high-brow financial stuff, we felt this story might need some leavening. So we brought in the Gregory Brothers of Auto-Tune the News for their take. They did a video called, “We Didn’t See It Comin’,” which is guaranteed to bring a smile.

There is also a comic that lays it out for folks who like their news in pictures.



Magnetar Hedge Fun

Well, my colleague Jesse Eisinger and I finished part one of a series about the epicenter of the financial crisis — collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs.

Our story on the hedge fund, Magnetar Capital, called the “Magnetar Trade,” can be found at ProPublica.

We also collaborated on an episode of This American Life that will air this weekend on public radio stations across the nation. The fine folks at This American Life did their usual amazing job of storytelling. Alex Blumberg took an incredibly complex topic and turned it into a seamless narrative. It’s very good radio.

They also commissioned a song. Yes, a song about a hedge fund that helps to create CDOs. And of course, there is a video to accompany the song. All can be found on the TAL website or on Planet Money.

Listen to “Inside Job” a radio episode Pro Publica co-produced with This American Life that aired on the award winning program on April 9, 2010.

Bet Against the American Dream from Alexander Hotz on Vimeo.