The case against Lehman Brothers
This week, Steve Kroft investigates the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which triggered a chain reaction that produced the worst financial crisis and economic downturn in 70 years. It’s his latest report in 5 years of coverage that began in the summer of 2007, more than a year before the US financial collapse.
“I think that we knew it was gonna get pretty big,” Kroft says now, looking back on his early reporting. “I’m not quite sure we knew that Lehman Brothers was gonna go bankrupt. But we knew that Wall Street was in for a very rough ride.”
Wall Street wrongdoing: Why no prosecutions?
By 2011, Steve Kroft and his producers began to shift their reporting focus on the Wall Street collapse to accountability. “Everybody believed that a lot of heads roll, that some people were probably going to go to jail. That certainly hasn’t happened.” Four years down the road, why haven’t U.S. enforcement agencies tried to prosecute any high-level Wall Street executives?
Kroft and producer James Jacoby began their search for answers last year with this two-part story looking at Countrywide Financial (part 1) and Citigroup (part 2). “Prosecuting Wall Street” aired in December 2011. As of April, no charges have been filed.
Autopsy report on the economic collapse
How did it happen? That was the question many of us were asking by 2010, when the country was examining the debris of the 2008 financial collapse. In what Steve Kroft calls an autopsy report on the crisis, this story is a sit-down with Michael Lewis, Wall Street wonderboy-turned-writer, who had published his analysis of the meltdown in “The Big Short.”
“I’m afraid that our culture will come to the conclusion, because it’s always the easy conclusion, that everybody was just a bunch of criminals,” Lewis told Kroft. “I think the story is much more interesting than that. I think it’s a story of mass delusion.”