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The Crime of Our Time


Duration: 59 min
ISBN: 1-932869-41-7
Date Produced: 2010
Subtitles: English

Filmmaker Info
Study Guide
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Press Reviews

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The Crime of Our Time

Exposing the forces responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, massive foreclosures and the disappearance of retirement funds, Plunder: The Crime of Our Time investigates the unregulated fraud and theft that led to the market's collapse in fall 2008. Filmmaker Danny Schechter, Emmy Award-winning former ABC News and CNN producer, explores the epidemic of subprime mortgages, predatory lending, insurance scams, and high-risk hedge funds that caused the collapse of the housing market and a full-scale economic meltdown. Schechter speaks to a range of analysts and insiders about the origins of the crisis: bankers, respected economists, insider experts, convicted white-collar criminal Sam Antar, and top journalists, including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. In engaging and enraging detail, the film moves from the mysterious collapse of Bear Stearns, an 85-year-old investment film that disappeared in a week, to the shadowy world of trillion-dollar hedge funds, delving into the complicity of major media outlets that failed to sound the alarm or investigate what was going on. In the end, Plunder lays bare the truth behind events that have affected billions of people. A must for economics, business, and sociology courses, as well as anyone who wants to understand the current financial situation.

Filmmaker Info

Directed, Written & Produced by Danny Schechter
Produced & Edited by Ray Nowosielski
Executive Producers: Rory O'Connor & Anant Singh
Co-Editor: Alejandro Heiber
Contributing Writer: Ray Nowosielski
Production Manager: Herb Brooks
Associate Producers: Ryan Bennett & Sean Inouye
Assistant Producers: Aysel Endres & Marie-Emilie Dozin
Composer: Polarity/1
Audio Mixer: Rubio
Computer Animations by Erik Potter & Jessica Hyndman

A Globalvision Production

Filmmaker's Bio

Danny Schechter | Writer, Producer & Director

Danny Schechter is a journalist, author, television producer and an independent filmmaker who also writes and speaks about economic and media issues.

He is the executive editor of, the world's largest online media issues online network, and recipient of many awards including the Society of Professional Journalists' 2001 Award for Excellence in Documentary Journalism.

His latest films are Barack Obama, People's President, an examination of how Obama won and In Debt We Trust: America Before The Bubble Bursts, an investigation of the impact of credit and debt on American society.

In Debt We Trust was one of the first films or media coverage to expose subprime lending and warn of an economic crisis. He was a director on Viva Madiba, a feature-length biopic tribute to Nelson Mandela on his 90th Birthday. (2008).

Schechter is co-founder and executive producer of Globalvision, a New York-based television and film production company now in its 21st year.

Schechter has specialized in investigative reporting and producing programming about the interface between human rights, journalism, popular music and society. His career began as the "News Dissector" at Boston's leading rock station, WBCN. Later, he moved into television as an on-camera reporter for WGBH (Channel 2) in Boston and then as a producer for WLVI (Channel 56) and WCVB (Channel 5).

Schechter then joined the start-up team of CNN and later became a producer for ABC News 20/20. He produced 50 segments for ABC News, winning two national Emmys and nominated for two others.

He has produced and directed many TV specials and documentary films and has spoken at scores of universities.

A Cornell University graduate, he received his Master's degree from the London School of Economics, and an honorary doctorate from Fitchburg College. He was a Neiman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard, where he also taught in 1969. After college, he was a full time civil rights worker and then communications director of the Northern Student Movement, and worked as a community organizer in a Saul Alinsky-style War on Poverty program. Then, moving from the streets to the suites, Schechter served as an assistant to the Mayor of Detroit in 1966 on a Ford Foundation grant.

Schechter has reported from 61 countries. He was an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and taught investigative reporting at the New School. Schechter's writing has appeared in leading newspapers and magazines including the Newsday, Boston Globe, Columbia Journalism Review, Media Studies Journal, Detroit Free Press, Village Voice, Z,,, ZNET, Creative1, Global Research, Alternet and many others.

Film Festivals

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Press Reviews

"For the most art, the media has done a lousy job of explaining the recent U.S. economic collapse. How many of us even know what "derivatives" are -- or the crucial role they played in Wall Street's casino-style looting of the economy. That's why this new movie by Danny Schechter, a journalist and documentarian (In Debt We Trust) who specializes in economic issues, is so welcome and valuable. If they [speculators who made giant profits from the fall] are punished, and the much-needed economic regulatory reforms are adopted ..., honest journalists like Schechter will be one of the main reasons. See this."
- Isthmus The Daily Page

"Schechter's new film, Plunder: The Crime of Our Time describes how Wall Street interests greased the skids for just such a collapse, consciously breaking laws they knew government regulators were unlikely to defend. Michael Moore has trod similar ground, but in a more overtly entertaining style. Schechter uses more traditional investigative procedures, by collecting evidence and interviewing perpetrators of financial crimes, journalists and government officials. It's a sobering documentary, but one that's too important to ignore."

"A few years back, filmmaker Danny Schechter predicted the financial crisis in the United States before it actually happened. No one's laughing now. Perhaps, this is as good a reason as any to check out this new work from Schechter. Plunder: The Crime of Our Time explores how the present-day crisis was built on a base of criminal activity. The journalistic filmmaker explores various shady enterprises and gives the viewer a clear-cut picture of how their actions lead to today's tragic situation."
- Pittsburgh Tribune Review

"sober and informative"

"Plunder: The Crime of Our Time is a great background documentary for those Americans who are so confused -- and who isn't -- by the terms used for exotic wall street financial instruments that they tune out. Schechter lays out in a straightforward fashion how the nation was taken to the cleaners by Wall Street and how they did it, complete with understandable diagrams and a clear, lucid script."

Praise for the Film

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