This is an excellent documentary about the only bank indicted for mortgage fraud as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. It is an excellent David vs. Goliath story.
Review: ‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,’ a Classic Underdog Tale
ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL Directed by Steve James Documentary 1h 28m
NEW YORK TIMES
By BEN KENIGSBERG
MAY 18, 2017
Thomas Sung, the founder of Abacus Federal Savings Bank, in the documentary “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.” Credit Sean Lyness/PBS Distribution
The veteran documentary director Steve James is best known for “Hoop Dreams” and “The Interrupters,” two expansive Chicago films that on the surface concerned basketball and violent crime but had much to say about the American dream and the potential for self-invention.
His crowd-pleasing new documentary, “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” doesn’t aspire to the same scale as those films, but like them, it’s a kind of stealth home movie: a portrait of two generations of an immigrant family in the United States.
Born in Shanghai, Thomas Sung founded the Abacus Federal Savings Bank in Chinatown in 1984, hoping to make it easier for s Chinese immigrants to get loans. The bank became a community hub, but in 2012, the Manhattan district attorney’s office charged it with mortgage fraud, also indicting 19 of its former employees.
Abacus was, a title card at the end asserts, “the only U.S. bank indicted for mortgage fraud related to the 2008 crisis.” Was the government giving a pass to big fish and picking on a small one — perhaps with a tinge of racism in its motives? Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the district attorney who oversaw the case, called the accusations of cultural bias “entirely misplaced and entirely wrong.”Warning: file_get_contents(): https:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_fopen=0 in /hermes/bosnacweb02/bosnacweb02af/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151 Warning: file_get_contents(https://plusone.google.com/_/+1/fastbutton?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cjnotebook.com%2Fpbs-2017-documentary-abacus-small-enough-jail%2F): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /hermes/bosnacweb02/bosnacweb02af/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151