November 12, 2008

Pt 1: Bailout Transparency - Since the financial crisis hit in September, it seems the United States economy is earning a bad rap over bailouts. You might remember the original bailout price tag was pegged at $700 billion dollars. But as it starts to look more like 2 trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money is being spent, Americans are rhyming off a new word: transparency.

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Pt 2: Avichay Sharon Feature - At any Israeli checkpoint, the sound of Palestinian protest speaks volumes about how an Israeli soldier stands at the line separating Israel and the Palestinian territories. And for Avichay Sharon, the fine line between war and peace has him asking questions about what's right and wrong.

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Pt 3: The Changeling - The life and crimes of Canadian Gordon Stewart Northcott is the subject of a book writer Tony Mostrom is currently working on. He was in Los Angeles this morning.

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Today's guest host was Gillian Findlay while Anna Maria Tremonti is on special assignment.

It's Wednesday, November 12th.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is not opposed to running for President in 2012. She says it's up to God to show her if there is an open door, to not let her miss that open door, and that if there is an open door, she'll plow right through that door.

Currently ... didn't America already show Sarah Palin the door?

This is The Current.


Bailout Transparency - Bloomberg

Since the financial crisis hit in September, it seems the United States economy is earning a bad rap over bailouts. You might remember the original bailout price tag was pegged at $700 billion dollars. But as it starts to look more like 2 trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money is being spent, Americans are rhyming off a new word: transparency.

Early on in the bailout saga, transparency was a word on the lips of President George Bush, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernacke AND U.S. Treasury secretay Henry Paulson. But sometimes things are easier said than done. Bloomberg News filed a Freedom of Information request with the Federal Reserve. But the agency refused to identify who was receiving money, or how much.

So last Friday, Bloomberg filed a lawsuit to get the answers. Mark Pittman is the Bloomberg reporter who filed the initial information request. He was in Yonkers, New York.


Bailout Transparency - Professor

Well it's not just reporters who are frustrated by the Federal Reserve's absence of transparency. Deborah Lucas is a professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, in Chicago.


Bailout - Auerbach

The chorus of voices asking for transparency includes some who know the Federal Reserve from within. Robert Auerbach was an economist with the House Committee on Financial Services under the tenure of four Federal Reserve Chairmen, most recently Alan Greenspan. And he's just released a book entitled Deception and Abuse at the Fed: Henry B. Gonzalez Battles Alan Greenspan's Bank. Robert Auerbach was in Austin, Texas.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has not been commenting on this story.



 

Avichay Sharon Feature

At any Israeli checkpoint, the sound of Palestinian protest speaks volumes about how an Israeli soldier stands at the line separating Israel and the Palestinian territories. And for Avichay Sharon, the fine line between war and peace has him asking questions about what's right and wrong.

The former Israeli Army soldier served at the beginning of this decade, just as the second Palestinian intifada started. While he did his duty, he left the army feeling ashamed of just what it meant to be a solider in the occupied territories. And few people, he discovered, would stomach any talk about it.

So he helped co-found Breaking The Silence. The organization brings voice to former soldiers' stories and tries to give context to what they did. It's helping people understand the moral pitfalls facing those who thought they were simply exercising their patriotic duty. Avichay Sharon was in Montreal.

Avichay Sharon is a former Israeli soldier and one of the co-founders of the Israeli organization Breaking The Silence. He's in Canada to be part of "Voices Forward: Film & Culture About People From Israel and Palestine".


 

The Changeling - Review

The trailer for Clint Eastwood's newest film, Changeling, sets up the true story of a mother - in this case, actor Angelina Jolie - who's son has disappeared. But as with most cinematic versions of real life events, Changeling's on screen story is incomplete. It's actually a very Canadian tale, and a very dark one at that.

First, to get us up to speed on what the film is about we were joined by Peter Howell, a film critic with the Toronto Star.


The Changeling - History

The life and crimes of Canadian Gordon Stewart Northcott is the subject of a book writer Tony Mostrom is currently working on. He was in Los Angeles this morning.

Tony Mostrom is a journalist in Los Angeles who has been researching the Gordon Stewart Northcott case for more than a decade.


Last Word

Coming up tomorrow morning on The Current, Anna Maria Tremonti is back and she'll be broadcasting from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. She's spent time speaking with CBC reporter Mellissa Fung.who was held captive for a month in Afghanistan. Anna Maria Tremonti brings you her story, tomorrow on The Current.

But we ended the show today with a little music to bring levity to tales of murder, war and financial ruin. Around the time of Gordon Stewart Northcott's execution, the film musical Chasing Rainbows had something of a hit song on their hands. The song, oddly enough, was released on October 24, 1929 - Black Thursday. The day the stock market crashed. The song we played was Charles King, singing Happy Days are Here Again.


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