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Institutions put in place after the Great Depression are supposed to insure that no such thing can happen again, but major financial institutions are in big trouble. Have the regulators been failing to do their jobs? Will recovery be delayed by a crisis of confidence? Also, former Attorney General John Ashcroft testifies on interrogation before Congress, and the pressure for offshore oil drilling meets concern about global warming as Al Gore tries to change the agenda in Washington. 

Hundreds of customers wait in line to get into an IndyMac Bank, open for the first time since the July 11 federal government takeover of the thrift, on July 14, 2008 in Pasadena, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A World of Wealth

Thomas Donlan

Making News Ashcroft Testifies on Interrogation before Congress 5 MIN, 46 SEC

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft testified before Congress today about so-called "enhanced interrogation" initially approved by the Justice Department during his tenure.  Ashcroft subsequently rescinded the so-called "torture memo" written by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo. Democrats today asked about "waterboarding" and other techniques. Keith Perine is Legal Affairs reporter for Congressional Quarterly.

Keith Perine, Legal Affairs Reporter, Congressional Quarterly

Main Topic The Reality and Psychology of the Economic Crisis 36 MIN, 15 SEC

Major financial institutions are in big trouble. IndyMac of Pasadena, California has been taken over by the FDIC in the second-biggest bank failure in US history. Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, backbone of the mortgage market, are losing their stock value. One analyst calls them "Phony and Fraudy." While experts insist that we'll never see another Great Depression, many Americans are losing confidence. Have regulators relaxed their standards and allowed the free market to get out of control?  Will the loss of consumer confidence help make things worse before they get better?   

Barry Ritholtz, Fusion IQ (@ritholtz)
Tom Donlan, Barron's (@barronsonline)
Jacob Hacker, Yale University (@ISPSYale)
Peter Temin, Economic Historian, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Great Risk Shift

Jacob Hacker

Reporter's Notebook An Inconvenient Time to Speak an Inconvenient Truth? 6 MIN, 50 SEC

The rising cost of gasoline has led Republicans—and some Democrats—to call for new oil exploration offshore, but Al Gore says they ought to renew the focus on global warming. In a speech on the environment today in Washington, Gore said that the solutions to climate change and renewing our economy are the same, and challenged Americans to "commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within ten years." Andy Revkin is environmental reporter for the New York Times.

Andrew Revkin, ProPublica (@Revkin)

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