Film Series

HBO Films, Too Big to Fail: Screening and Conversation

October 14, 2011

HBO’s Too Big to Fail looks at the initiative and actions of financial leaders, including the U.S. Treasury Secretary and Chairman of the Federal Reserve, during the 2008 financial crisis.

FOLCS hosted a screening and discussion with writer, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and economist, Paul Volcker.

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Andrew Ross Sorkin
Journalist / Author

Andrew Ross Sorkin is the New York Times’s chief mergers and acquisitions reporter and a columnist. Mr. Sorkin is also the editor of DealBook, an online daily financial report he started in 2001, and an assistant finance editor of the paper’s Business Day section.

He authored the best-selling book, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves. It was recently adapted as a movie by HBO.

Mr. Sorkin is a frequent guest host of CNBC’s Squawk Box and often appears on Charlie Rose on PBS. He won a Gerald Loeb Award in 2004 for breaking news and SABEW Awards for breaking news in 2005 and again in 2006. In 2007, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader.

Paul A. Volcker

Paul A. Volcker was most notably the Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan from August 1979 to August 1987. He is widely credited with ending the high levels of inflation seen in the United States in the 1970s and early 1980s. Additionally, he was the Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board under President Barack Obama from February 2009 until February 2011.

Mr. Volcker started out in 1952 by joining the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a full-time economist. He left that position in 1957 to become a financial economist with the Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1962, Mr. Volcker moved to the Treasury Department as director of financial analysis.

He recently headed the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. During the financial crisis, Mr. Volcker was critical of both financial regulation and financial institutions and supported far-ranging reform. Specifically Mr. Volcker called for a breakup of the nation’s largest banks, prohibiting deposit-taking institutions from engaging in riskier activities such as proprietary trading, private equity, and hedge fund investments.

On January 21, 2010, President Barack Obama proposed bank regulations, including what was dubbed “The Volcker Rule,” in reference to Mr. Volcker’s aggressive pursuit of these regulations.