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Museum of money makes its mark -

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Museum of money makes its mark

Reporter: Michael Rowland

PETER CAVE: The global financial crisis is making history in more ways than one.

It's already the subject of a museum exhibit.

The Museum of American Finance, located appropriately on Wall Street, has been pulling in the
crowds with its timely interpretation of the market meltdown.

North America correspondent Michael Rowland reports.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: In a cavernous marble and stone building just steps away from the New York Stock
Exchange the global financial crisis is being put into context.

JOHN CIRINCION: It begins with the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis, and follows through to March of
this year.

John Cirincion, a tour guide at the Museum of American Finance walks a group of lunchtime visitors
through an exhibit tracking the credit crisis that's wreaked so much devastation here in New York's
financial district.

The museum, sitting as it does on Wall Street, suddenly found itself much more popular as the
financial crisis erupted.

Leena Akhtar is the Museum's exhibits director.

LEENA AKHTAR: We noticed especially in September and October 2008 many people were coming into the
museum and saying, 'How are you documenting the crisis?'

I am an historian by training and I had to tell them, 'Well, I'm collecting newspapers in terms of
displayable artefacts, because we're in such an electronic age; it's really all I have right now.'

But what people were really asking was for... whether we could give them an understanding of what was
going on, in a way that was accessible to lay people.

So what we're attempting to do with this is show how the origins of the credit crisis were in the
housing bubble when it popped late 2006, and bring people to an understanding of how we got to
where we are now, where there's such turmoil in the markets all over the world.

And you know, there is so much government intervention necessitated by the fact that credit has
dried up.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: The exhibit features a timeline that tracks the rollercoaster movements of the Dow
Jones as key events unfolded.

The collapse of Lehman Brothers, the big bank bailouts and the nationalisation of insurance giant
AIG are all noted, along with other key government interventions like the massive economic stimulus
packages introduced in countries including Australia.

Unlike most museum exhibits the subject of this one is still very much active.

Leena Akthar says the museum has thought ahead.

LEENA AKHTAR: We built the exhibit with the ability to expand it. So there'll be another panel, and
it'll expand a little more into the exhibit hall.

We have room for about, oh I'd say, 15 months comfortably before it will get too cumbersome, be too
much information, and we'll have to figure out a way to present it in you know, perhaps electronic
format or as an interactive or something like that.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: The financial crisis will be keeping this slice of Wall Street busy for some time

In New York, this is Michael Rowland reporting for The World Today.