Plunder: The Crime of Our Time is a hard-hitting investigative film by Danny Schechter. The “News Dissector” explores how the financial crisis was built on a foundation of criminal activity uncovering the connection between the collapse of the housing market and the economic catastrophe that followed.

The film opens with the conviction of Ponzi King Bernie Madoff, whose acknowledged criminality drove a $65 billion dollar pyramid scheme. It argues that the wrong doing committed by a few individuals distracts from the real story, implicating the best-known institutions that financed and profited from fraudulent sub prime lending. This connection is now being investigated by the FBI as part of a probe into what it calls a “fraud epidemic.”

PLUNDER shows how these firms created special securities to repackage and resell these dubious loans after they were re-rated as Triple A. These firms then bet against many of these toxic assets with credit default swaps and other insurance scams. By leveraging these investments, they recklessly put trillions of dollars and the world economy at risk.

Tonight, Mike and Mark speak with Danny Schechter about the film, media and about 20 other things…. a great, freewheeling conversation with the “Uber-investigative-journalist.”

More on the film at the Plunder website – or click on the cover above to purchase.

About the guest:

Danny Schechter is a journalist, author, television producer and an independent filmmaker who also writes and speaks about economic and media issues.

He is the executive editor of MediaChannel.org, the world’s largest online media issues online network, and recipient of many awards including the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2001 Award for Excellence in Documentary Journalism.

His latest films are “Barack Obama, People’s President [2009], an examination of how Obama won and “IN DEBT WE TRUST: America Before The Bubble Bursts,” [2007] an investigation of the impact of credit and debt on American society.

In Debt We Trust was one of the first films or media coverage to expose subprime lending and warn of an economic crisis. He was a director on “Viva Madiba,” a feature-length biopic tribute to Nelson Mandela on his 90th Birthday. (2008).

He is the author of nine books.

Schechter is co-founder and executive producer of Globalvision, a New York-based television and film production company now in its 21st year. He founded and executive-produced the TV series “South Africa Now” and co-produced the series “Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television.”

Schechter has specialized in investigative reporting and producing programming about the interface between human rights, journalism, popular music and society. His career began as the “News Dissector” at Boston’s leading rock station, WBCN. Later, he moved into television as an on-camera reporter for WGBH (Channel 2) in Boston and then as a producer for WLVI (Channel 56) and WCVB (Channel 5).

Schechter then joined the start-up team of CNN and later became a producer for ABC News 20/20. He produced 50 segments for ABC News, winning two national Emmys and nominated for two others.

He has produced and directed many TV specials and documentary films. click here for a full listing. He has spoken at scores of universities – from Harvard to Hamline, from Minnesota to MIT, NYU to Georgia State, Santa Monica to the University of Hawaii, Princeton to Cornell.

A Cornell University graduate, he received his Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and an honorary doctorate from Fitchburg College. He was a Neiman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard, where he also taught in 1969. After college, he was a full time civil rights worker and then communications director of the Northern Student Movement, and worked as a community organizer in a Saul Alinsky-style War on Poverty program. Then, moving from the streets to the suites, Schechter served as an assistant to the Mayor of Detroit in 1966 on a Ford Foundation grant.

Schechter has reported from 61 countries. He was an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and taught investigative reporting at the New School. Schechter’s writing has appeared in leading newspapers and magazines including the Newsday, Boston Globe, Columbia Journalism Review, Media Studies Journal, Detroit Free Press, Village Voice, Z, Mediachannel.org, OpedNews.com, ZNET, Creative1, Global Research, Alternet and many others.

You can follow him on Twitter here.

Find him on Facebook here.

Closing music from the show:

“Man Walking” from Mark’s “New Eye” album.