In late October, we published a review (by the author of this post) of I.O.U.S.A., Patrick Creadon's deeply unsettling documentary about America's unsound finances, particularly the $10 trillion national debt. Among the experts featured in the film were Warren Buffett, patron saint of value investing, and Paul O'Neill, an early, principled casualty of the George W. Bush administration.
In our review, the following recommendation was made:
"Instead of a celebratory inauguration speech outdoors in freezing Washington, D.C., in January, President Obama or McCain should convene a national town hall meeting. The first hour and a half would consist of a television broadcast ofI.O.U.S.A., and the next two, three, four hours would consist of a president-moderated discussion on how our nation can address the problems outlined, in unforgiving detail, in the film."
Now word comes that CNN will show the film—in its broadcast premiere—this Sunday, Jan. 11, at 2 p.m. Following the film, a panel of experts will hold an "unscripted panel discussion with policy leaders about various economic solutions currently under consideration."
Among the panelists will be former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley and economist and Clinton aide Alice Rivlin.
All unfounded claims of credit aside, I.O.U.S.A. is an important and timely film that performs a valuable service in making comprehensible the scale of our country's financial distress, and CNN should be commended for performing this service.
The complete press release comes after the jump.
CNN TO AIR TIMELY DOCUMENTARY AND DISCUSSION
ABOUT U.S. ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
U.S. Broadcast Premiere of Critically Acclaimed Film I.O.U.S.A.
Included in Exclusive Televised Event
January 8, 2009-In response to public demand for information about the scope
of the country's financial challenges, CNN/U.S. will air the television
premiere of the acclaimed documentary I.O.U.S.A., together with an
unscripted panel discussion with policy leaders about various economic
solutions currently under consideration.
The two-hour program will feature an exclusive televised version of the
nonpartisan film I.O.U.S.A., which examines the U.S. government's fiscal
landscape and the consequences for the national economy. Since its premiere
at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, the film has garnered rave reviews from
critics; has been nominated for a Critics Choice Award; and is on the short
list for an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
This exclusive televised event will air on CNN/U.S. on Saturday, January 10
at 2:00 p.m. EST and on Sunday, January 11 at 3:00 p.m. EST, and will be
hosted by Ali Velshi and Christine Romans, co-anchors of CNN's Your $$$,
the network's weekend business roundtable program.
Throughout the broadcast, Velshi and Romans will engage a distinguished
group of panelists including Pete Peterson, Chairman of the Peter G.
Peterson Foundation and former U.S. Commerce Secretary; Dave Walker,
President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S.
Comptroller General; Alice Rivlin, noted economist and former Director of
the Office of Management and Budget; and Bill Bradley, a Managing Director
of Allen & Company and former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential
candidate in discussions about issues raised in the film and their ties to
current economic events.
I.O.U.S.A. uses candid interviews, archival footage, and economic data to
tell the story of America's mounting debts. Interview subjects include
noted investor Warren Buffett, former Federal Reserve Chairmen Alan
Greenspan and Paul Volcker, former U.S. Treasury Secretaries Paul O'Neill
and Robert Rubin, Rivlin, Walker, and Concord Coalition Executive Director
Bob Bixby. The conclusion of the film offers suggestions for how best to
recreate a fiscally sound nation for future generations. I.O.U.S.A. was
directed by Patrick Creadon ("Wordplay") and distributed in the United
States by Roadside Attractions ("Super Size Me"). Michael Kane is the
executive producer of the program for CNN.
About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation:
Founded by the former senior chairman of The Blackstone Group with a
commitment of $1 billion, the Foundation is dedicated to increasing public
awareness of the nature and urgency of key fiscal challenges threatening
America's future, and to accelerating action on them. To address these
challenges successfully, it works to bring Americans together to find
sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and
ideological divides in order to achieve real results. For more information,