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Global Financial Crisis

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In Debt We Trust
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A documentary exposing how consumption and debt is encouraged by the banking industry which wields the power to influence government and society. Consumerism is now America's dominant economic engine and has created an unsustainable bubble that holds the majority in a crisis of perpetual debt.

89 min, Danny Schechter, A Globalvision Production


In America's earliest days, there were barn-raising parties in which neighbors helped each other build up their farms. Today, in some churches, there are debt liquidation revivals in which parishioners chip in to free each other from growing credit card debts that are driving American families to bankruptcy and desperation.

IN DEBT WE TRUST is the latest film from Danny Schechter, "The News Dissector," director of the internationally distributed and award-winning WMD (Weapons of Mass Deception), an expose of the media's role in the Iraq War. The Emmy-winning former ABC News and CNN producer's new hard-hitting documentary investigates why so many Americans are being strangled by debt. It is a journalistic confrontation with what former Reagan advisor Kevin Phillips calls "Financialization"--the "powerful emergence of a debt-and-credit industrial complex."

While many Americans may be "maxing out" on credit cards, there is a deeper story: power is shifting into fewer hands.....with frightening consequences.

IN DEBT WE TRUST shows how the mall replaced the factory as America's dominant economic engine and how big banks and credit card companies buy our Congress and drive us into what a former major bank economist calls modern serfdom. Americans and our government owe trillions in consumer debt and the national debt, a large amount of it to big banks and billions to Communist China.

EXPERTS AGREE: A top government official compares the US today to Rome before its fall and warns that the bubble could burst. A former prosecutor says that many of these loans are worst than mafia loan-sharking practices. An ex-credit card executive explains how advertising campaigns are deliberately deceptive and misleading.

ROBIN HOOD OR ROBBING THE HOOD: A real estate expert reports that tens of billions of dollars, are being transferred from the pockets of the poor into the vaults of big banks which use front groups and subsidiaries to camouflage their association with rip-off loans charging exorbitant interest rates.

SCAMMING SOLDIERS: We visit a military base to learn that soldiers just back from Iraq are being victimized en masse by payday lenders.

CONGRESS: BOUGHT AND SOLD: In Washington we learn how big money and lobbying stops government and political leaders from regulating usurious interest rates or stopping the gentrification of poor neighborhoods in which thousands of families are losing their homes through predatory mortgage, home-improvement and foreclosure scams.

COLLEGE CREDIT: We visit a campus where college students are being forced to pay higher interest rates for loans while a majority graduate with more than $20,000 in loans. Credit Card Nation author Robert Manning explains the crisis.

BANKRUPTCY BILL BLUES: And then we hear about the shame and pain of bankruptcy as the Congress passes a bill to make it harder for Americans to get a second chance and disqualifies Hurricane Katrina victims from filing for relief.

A CALL TO ACTION: Economics is called "the dismal science," yet this film is anything but; it exposes practices we can all relate to because they effect us all, adds Schechter. The film also talks about how we can fight back.

Deeper than the news, fast-paced, musically charged and deeply informative, IN DEBT WE TRUST is call to action: film-making with an angry edge and a broad well-reported scope.

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