In Debt We Trust
America Before the Bubble Bursts
Just a few decades ago, owing more money than you had in your bank account was the exception, not the rule. Yet, in the last 10 years, consumer debt has doubled and, for the first time, Americans are spending more than they're saving - or making. This April, award-winning former ABC News and CNN producer Danny Schechter investigates America's mounting debt crisis in his latest hard-hitting expose, IN DEBT WE TRUST.
While many Americans are "maxing out" on credit cards, there is a much deeper story: power is shifting into fewer hands... with frightening consequences. IN DEBT WE TRUST reveals a hitherto unknown cabal of credit card companies, lobbyists, media conglomerates and the Bush administration itself, which has colluded to deregulate the lending industry, ensuring that a culture of credit dependency can flourish. In the film, Schechter exposes the mechanisms and machinations behind the hidden financial and political complex that allows even the lowest wage earners to indebt themselves so heavily that house repossessions have become commonplace. One expert in the film goes so far as to dub this "21st-century serfdom."
Inspired by scholar Robert Manning - one of the films' key advisers' - and his seminal book "Credit Card Nation", IN DEBT WE TRUST showcases his insights about the impact of debt on young people and our society. It also suggests the kinds of practical efforts needed to empower the public with information to avoid the traps of debt dependency.
The whole world depends on the economic stability of the United States. Yet, as its national and consumer debt escalates, our interconnected global economy is at incredible risk. IN DEBT WE TRUST, as timely and relevant as a film can be, delivers an urgent warning that can't be ignored.
Produced, written and directed and narrated by Danny Schechter 1 hour, 29 minutes, English audio, 2006.