Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inside Job



For anyone out there who is the slightest bit intrigued by the financial crisis of 2008- "Inside Job" The Academy Award winning documentary is a must see. This has been a topic that I have been borderline obsessed with for the last 2 years. I have read countless articles, books and have seen pretty much every interview or documentary available and few tell the story in a more clear & understandable way than this movie.

Why should anyone care about a bunch of finance geeks with their fancy degrees who seem to speak a language that only other finance geeks can understand? Because what happened in October 2008 was the financial equivalent of the "Cuban Missile Crisis" minus the "almost". With subprime mortgages instead of nuclear warheads that were launched on a global scale.

How exactly does a "simple" home mortgage that originated in the United States ultimately bankrupt a country as far away as Iceland? What ever happened to regulation? And why didn't anyone see this coming? All these questions were asked and no one seemed to have any answers.

The film is narrated by Matt Damon and does an excellent job keeping its audience captivated about a topic that few people understand by breaking it up into 5 parts.

1. How We Got Here
2. The Bubble
3. The Crisis
4. Accountability
5. Where Are We Now?

"Inside Job" looks at the financial meltdown of 2008 as a product of the human condition and not just as a numbers game. It delves into the ever expanding breadth & influence of the world of Wall Street on Government and education which shapes legislation in its favor.

While watching this movie, a midst all my feelings of betrayal and outrage, I kept asking myself one simple question, if I was in the same position as some of these Wall Street titans making obscene amounts of money by just being in the right circle of influence "Would I have acted any different?" Morality is often more or less ambiguous depending on which side of the transaction you are on.

5 comments:

  1. I love this topic too (evidenced by our Friday night Sushi discussion)...but you looooooooove this topic...you should marry it. Well done friend. :)

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  2. that is so weird - a friend of mine just asked me if i had seen this and i mistakenly thought she was talking about spike lee's "inside man" < we had a good chuckle about that. it is definitely on my list of films to see, but i do fear the anger it will cause...just like the madoff crap, all those people crying about losing their money, but they weren't complaining when their investments were turning a profit year after year. so you are right, morality (or lack thereof) and greed on the part of the few got the many here. but i take some responsibility too...for the longest time, this spendy wendy lived beyond her means, or at least i bought things that made me feel good and in retrospect, weren't worth the designer labels that i hid behind.

    so although life is tougher now, it feels more authentic somehow. and i'm sure you listened to all the coverage on "this american life" - those broadcasts really helped me to make sense of what those assholes did to us. i've moved "inside job" to the top of our netflix queue, but sadly it has a very long wait. but i look forward to discussing it with you!

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  3. Thank you Joyce---yes a couple of people I mentioned this movie to also thought about the Spike Lee movie. I know where you are coming from regarding being a spendy Wendy. When I moved last October and managed to clean out some of my old files that were full of furniture and other receipts I truly could not believe how irresponsible I was with money, and considering what I do for a living makes it even worse...nowadays being able to shop for groceries when and where I want is enough to make me happy. I find joy in so many other things besides the material, and I am thankful for that lesson learned.

    Problem solved on the long wait with Netflix. I still have the DVD with me and will give it to Tim today. Just return it when you guys are done. Now what other blog out there does that?! :)

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  4. now that's service! can we also order some popcorn? oh wait, i forgot ... started my new diet today ... you are right, there is something liberating about appreciating the smaller and "realer" things in life. friends, family, dogs (not necessarily in that order) ... food, time off from work, nice weather, a long walk, it's SO not about things anymore and for that, i'm happy.

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