WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Thursday, May 18th

May 17, 2017

First hour: Digging into Seward's Folly as it turns 150

Second hour: The story of the only bank to be criminally charged after the 2008 financial collapse

2017 marks the sesquicentennial of Seward's Folly, aka the purchase of the Alaskan Territory from Russia. The Seward House Museum is celebrating by purchasing all of Siberia. Just kidding. But they've got a lot going on: a new Seward statue; museum tours; and a visit from the author of a new book about Seward's Folly. And it's a timely subject: the folly was known as the "deal done in the dark." That applies to any number of governmental actions in recent years. Our guests:

Jeff Ludwig, director of education for the Seward House Museum
Lee Farrow, author of Seward's Folly

You've heard of Too Big to Fail, the concept on Wall Street that banks were too massive to be allowed to go under. A new film looks at the opposite. It's called Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, and the man behind it is Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame. James tells the story of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings in Chinatown. Abacus became the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse. James will be in Rochester on Sunday as the guest of the One Take Film Festival, which is showing both Abacus and Hoop Dreams. Our guests:

Steve James, director of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Amit Batabyal, professor of economics at RIT