Release date:September 2, 2009
Directors:Leslie Cockburn, Andrew Cockburn
Investigative reporters Leslie and Andrew Cockburn have spent nearly 30 years uncovering major stories (for PBS, CBS Reports, 60 Minutes, et alia), but with "American Casino" they take on the biggest economic crisis of our lifetime: the subprime mortgage meltdown that has caused more than a million Americans to lose their homes. The Cockburns interview Wall Street wizards who are as nervous about revealing their identity as any mobster in the witness protection program; they rewind to Phil Gramm (R, Texas) calling us "a nation of whiners... (facing) a mental recession"; they replay Alan Greenspan's admission that his ideology was "flawed"; and they put a human face on the victims of bankers who targeted minority communities with no-income verification loans, adjustable rates (that adjusted upwards, dramatically), and complex language that even the pros can't fathom. Out of this mess, the filmmakers build a case against those who used government deregulation to make a fortune for the few and create havoc for the many.