Director Gary Gasgarth
Starring Paul Sorvino (Narrator), Nouriel Roubini, Chris Mayer, Richard Sylla
This timely and informative documentary chronicles the history of America's mortgage finance system, from its origins in the 1930s, when the federal government first made available long-term, fixed-rate loans to new American homeowners, to its current state of crisis, after an excess of risky mortgage financing led to the system's collapse, which in turn triggered a wider economic recession. WE ALL FALL DOWN features dozens of interviews and commentary from a wide variety of industry experts and Wall Street insiders-including mortgage brokers, appraisers, bankers, lawyers, analysts, sellers and buyers, and economics scholars-who explain in terms clearly understandable to the lay viewer such concepts as the "subprime" mortgage market, the financial alchemy of "securitization" whereby Wall Street banks packaged and resold mortgage loans as securities that could be bought and sold like stocks, and how the mortgage crisis led to a sudden halt to other types of lending to individuals and businesses. Among the many authorities interviewed in the film are Paul Muolo, publisher of National Mortgage News and author of Chain of Blame: How Wall Street Caused the Mortgage and Credit Crisis; Nouriel Roubini, NYU Professor of Economics and International Business; Mark Wiseman, Director of Foreclosure Prevention; Til Schuermann of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY; Guy Cecala, President of Inside Mortage Finance; and Richard Sylla, NYU professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets. Filmed over a twelve-month period, from Rochester, NY and Cleveland, to Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego, WE ALL FALL DOWN also shows how an out-of-control "mortgage machine" has today led to home foreclosures nationwide, featuring interviews with families who have been devastated, as loan defaults and evictions spread from the poor to middle-class sectors of the populace, in turn creating millions of abandoned and disintegrating properties in neighborhoods and cities throughout the U.S. Their emotionally moving stories reveal the all-too-real personal consequences for Americans caught up in this financial spiral. WE ALL FALL DOWN concludes with an analysis of the economic and political impact of the collapse of the mortgage finance system on American society, now and likely for decades to come. America today is truly at a crossroads and the question is how and whether it will be able to rebuild a devastated economy.