President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his first inaugural address, told a country struggling under the weight of the Great Depression that the nation needed to take action to rebuild and rejuvenate itself. He said: "Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now."
It was a time not unlike our own, where misbehavior on Wall Street fed a widespread credit and confidence crisis that swept like a tornado through the U.S. and global economy. And as in 1933, Washington again faces the time-sensitive task of diagnosing how its institutions are ill-equipped to fix the nation's problems, and then building a new system responsive to America's new needs. This project will tell that story, through the eyes of the Americans affected.