Segments in this Video

Banks without Political Accountability (01:40)


This film will investigate Goldman Sachs' direct involvement in Greece's financial downfall as a government adviser with an agenda.

Reflecting on National Bankruptcy (01:36)

At a New Years’ reception, members of the Greek Parliament listen to a speech about economic hardship brought on by foreign predatory loans and political opportunism.

Bound by the Maastricht Treaty (01:12)

Bloomberg financial reporter Nick Dunbar explains that Greece's foreign currency debts increased when the exchange rate went down. To comply with EU rules, the government borrowed from Goldman Sachs using a fake currency rate to "shrink" bond debt.

Shrinking Greek National Debt (01:33)

At 105% of its GDP, well over the Maastricht Treaty limit of 60%, Greece took a new loan from Goldman Sachs to make the debt appear €2.8 billion less to the EU—now owing that money to the American bank.

Greece's Financial Bind (02:39)

Dunbar compares the government's deal with Goldman Sachs to a subprime mortgage that increased after an initial grace period. False economic data, a broken tax system and runaway spending compounded the issue.

Goldman Sachs' Bonus Culture (02:14)

"Money and Power" author William Cohan explains that the U.S. firm attracts the biggest talent and fosters information sharing to maximize profits from clients—in this case the Greek government.

Betting on the 2008 Financial Crisis (02:56)

Former employee Nomi Prins explains that Goldman Sachs packaged mortgage debts in Collateral Debt Obligations (CDOs) containing "bad" money, and then bought insurance against its own loans from AIG, who went under. Sachs was the only firm to benefit from the collapse.

Goldman Sachs on Trial (02:01)

Prins explains that the human cost of selling bad loans isn't taken into account in the banking system. C-SPAN footage shows CFO David Viniar defending his institution's actions to the Senate Subcommittee.

Lobbying against Financial Regulation (01:51)

Prins believes profiting from the 2008 crisis was fraudulent on Goldman Sachs’ part. Cohan discusses how Wall Street influences securities laws; insider trading is legal despite having global consequences.

Affects of National Bankruptcy (03:29)

Greek entrepreneur Zissimatos shows unused office and retail space; he's had to downsize since the financial crisis—along with many businesses in his city. The economy's decline has impacted the entire EU.

Betting against the Greek Economy (04:18)

Financial experts discuss the government’s decision process for using risky financial instruments to shrink the national debt. Dunbar explains that Goldman Sachs bought insurance against its loan to Greece.

Failure of EU Fiscal Governance (03:29)

Experts clarify that Goldman Sachs' highly publicized loan to Greece was a tiny percent of its overall national debt. The Eurostat commission approved similar deals across the region—trusting that countries would manage their economies responsibly.

Goldman Sachs' Global Influence (03:39)

Cohan and Prins discuss how the financial firm's former partners have entered U.S. and European politics and are shifting responsibility for bad bank loans onto populations through austerity measures.

Greek Health Care System in Crisis (02:51)

An Athens pharmacist reveals that since the economic downturn, insurance companies can no longer pay him refunds, hospitals can't afford drugs and patients are suffering.

Betting on EU Bailouts (01:23)

Prins explains how Goldman Sachs and other American firms are insuring against derivative transactions in European banks, believing they will eventually default.

Struggling for Survival in Greece (02:34)

Since the economic crisis, a health clinic for refugees has treated increasing numbers of Greek citizens. A patient's husband is unemployed and the family has no insurance.

Widening Greek Income Gap (01:56)

A family has struggled to keep their apartment since the crisis—but their middle class status disqualifies them from state support.

Greece's Political Dilemma (01:47)

Dunbar explains that the country's broken democracy is partially responsible for the economic crisis. If they default, the European Central Bank will have to bail them out—and leaving the EU would spell disaster.

Ongoing EU Financial Crisis (01:41)

Defaulted loans from 2007 have yet to be repaid in European countries—perpetuating the economic depression.

Reforming the Banking Sector (03:31)

Dunbar and Cohan call for regulation to curb Wall Street’s bonus culture and risk taking. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein refuses to change the incentive system.

Goldman Sachs Refuses Responsibility (00:47)

In a statement, the firm maintains the 2001 deal it struck with Greece lowered the national debt-GDP ratio to comply with the Maastricht Treaty, and that other European governments used similar financial strategies.

Credits: Goldman Sachs and the Decline of Greece (00:41)

Credits: Goldman Sachs and the Decline of Greece

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Goldman Sachs and the Decline of Greece

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Over more than a decade, America’s top investment bank provided risky financial products that sent the Greek government further and further into debt. Goldman Sachs earned hundreds of millions on the deal while the position of Greece within the European Union became untenable. Traveling to New York, London, and Athens, this film reveals what happened and examines the devastating consequences in present-day Greece. Viewers learn how, even as the Greek debt edged closer to 60 percent of the nation’s GDP (the limit set in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992), both Goldman Sachs and the Greek government continued with “business as usual,” and how Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office in Brussels, was informed about these instances of financial engineering and raised no objections. The film also shows how a vulnerable and unprepared Greek population bore the brunt of EU austerity measures. (Portions with English subtitles, 50 minutes)

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL53073

ISBN: 978-1-61753-970-1

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.