Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by ellen

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is available on DVD now. I’m sure that you remember the financial crisis of 2008. But have you heard about Abacus’ part in it? 

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Abacus: Small Enough to Jail from PBS on DVDAbacus: Small Enough to Jail

It seems like every day we were hearing about a new financial institution that was failing or in danger of failing. People lost their retirement accounts, their life savings, and their lives during this horrible time.

From Steve James, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family. They were the owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York.

Accused of mortgage fraud, the indictment and 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.

This DVD is 90 minutes long.


I remember watching every possible program on the financial crisis during 2008.But, I don’t recall learning about Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. However, I’m sure that is probably because it was a smaller bank compared to some of the huge financial institutions that were crashing.

I found this documentary absolutely fascinating. It includes all sorts of interviews with the people involved and some really frightening real life scenes of employees shackled as they are taken into the courthouse. It’s a fascinating movie.

Comparatively speaking, the larger banks got away with so much more than this tiny bank every did but the way they were treated is so much worse. The documentary suggests racism and a conspiracy of the larger corporations. You’ll have to watch to decide for yourself.

Buy it today on Amazon.

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