Watch the documentary Plunder: The Crime of Our Time (2010) by the Emmy Award-winning former ABC News and CNN producer, Danny Schechter. It is available for streaming online through Kanopy via the UMass library subscription. This film explores the epidemic of subprime mortgages, predatory lending, insurance scams, and high-risk hedge funds that caused the collapse of the housing market and a full-scale economic meltdown. In answering the following questions make sure to consider the overarching question of the gap between what is counted as crime and what is policed as crime.
- Who are white-collar criminals?
- Why is white-collar crime so hard to police?
- Do you blame the new homeowners or the subprime lenders for the mortgage crisis?
- Why do you think the government bailed out the financial institutions but not homeowners?
- What is class warfare? Do you think this a real thing?
- What do you think about embedding the media – be it with the military or financiers?
- How does the former bank regulator, William K. Black, explain the relationship of fraud, trust, and value?
500 word minimum, 20 points