The incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle.
Review from the comment
Abacus is a compelling look at how the government has responded in varying degrees to banks they feel have played a part in the mortgage crisis a decade ago. On the one hand, you have the large banks that received bailout money in the amount of billions to keep the US and world economy from imploding. On the other hand, you have a small, family owned bank like Abacus who at worst participated in the same predatory lending practices that the big boys did. If you believe the filmmakers, Abacus actually didn't do anything of the sort as an institution, in fact they did the opposite. It makes for a very interesting watch that is an indictment not only on how the government responded to the recession but also in how they use the media to spin stories to their liking.