High inflation. Fear of recession. Disruptions, like the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. How did the U.S. economy get here? A two-hour documentary special traces the road to this moment, and the role of the Federal Reserve, the country’s central bank.
FRONTLINE investigates the Fed’s epic economic experiment to revive the U.S. economy with what has been called an “easy money” policy and the far-reaching and sometimes unintended consequences. “If we hadn't been driving our economy for 14 years with easy money and then tried to really quickly undo that now, we wouldn't be having these problems,” former top banking regulator Sheila Bair said in the documentary.
From the 2008 recession, to the COVID pandemic, to the rise in inflation, to the current economic uncertainty, the “Age of Easy Money” charts the American economy’s tumultuous course and the financial system’s fragility and the widening gap between Wall Street and Main Street.
The documentary examines what led to the Fed’s recent decisions to hike interest rates at a historic pace and probes the ongoing effects, offering a comprehensive and timely examination of the institution’s role at the heart of America’s economy.
Watch the full documentary here:
Credits: The documentary is supported by The WNET Group’s Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative that examines poverty, justice, and economic opportunity in America.
The director, producer, and correspondent of “Age of Easy Money” is James Jacoby. The producer is Anya Bourg. The senior producer is Frank Koughan. The editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and airs nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.