“Credit has the ability to build a modern economy, but lack of credit has the ability to destroy it, swiftly and absolutely.” Just how close were we to a financial collapse in 2008? NOTE: This is not a documentary, and features several famous actors.
Based on the non-fiction book by Andrew Ross Sorkin, this movie illustrates the 2008 financial crisis. It dives into the steps taken to try and avoid one of the worlds biggest financial falls. When “smaller large” banks begin to find themselves in trouble, they seek bailouts from the government. However it isn’t the governments job to save banks from what could already be seen coming a mile away. But isn’t it the governments job to protect the people of this country? The choices were tough, the solution wasn’t always clear, and nothing was guaranteed. The headaches, stress, arguments, indecisiveness, and negotiations were only a fraction of what came along with this massive problem, and this film captured it head on.
BACKGROUND OF THE 2008 CRISIS (The plot of the movie basically)
So when Wall Street began investing in mortgage backed securities they pushed for banks to ease up on their lending restrictions so that more loans could be issued, and more money could be earned. Imagine that…greed causing the problem. So banks lowered their restrictions and loaned money to people that had a lesser chance at repaying their loans. Lower credit scores….no problem! To protect themselves they bought insurance, so in the event of default on the loans, they would be covered. Nearly all of this insurance was through A.I.G, an insurance giant. And so….for the longest time the bubble kept getting bigger and bigger, and the money was fantastic…. at least until housing prices went to shit. Millions of defaults, and even a giant like A.I.G. didn’t have the money to cover them all at once. Banks were now in trouble (holding toxic assets), the stock market was crashing, and the turmoil was spreading even wider than the banks themselves, effecting even the largest company in the world at the time, General Electric. The economy as we knew it, was on the verge of an all out collapse.
I love finance with all my heart, and though the 2008 crisis was indeed a terrifying time, even for the average person, I find it fascinating in nature. Greed drives our economy more than anything else, and greed is what screws everything up. If people can make a lot of money, they will take the opportunity, regardless of the consequences. Wall Street investors can make money no matter what direction the market is moving thanks to the art of short selling (selling borrowed shares in hopes that they will decline in value). So build a bubble and make money…pop the bubble, and still make money. And watch the rest of the world burn for it. That’s Wall Street.
It’s said that the biggest banks of this country are too big to fail. There is no such thing. Nothing is too big to fail, and it’s simple logic that nothing lasts forever. Today Apple Inc fights for the position of worlds largest company, and a few decades from now it could be non-existent. Why? Because new people move in with new ideas, and new is not always what’s best. Those billions of dollars that Apple sits on today, will be burned through by someone in the future, reducing the companies financial superiority. But enough about the topics of discussion that this film brings to light. What about the cast?
The cast is solid with names such as William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, Michael O’Keefe, Bill Pullman, Tony Shalhoub, and James Woods. Every person in this movie displayed a top notch performance. I also enjoyed the real life news clips in the intro of the film, helping explain the point in time that the movie was picking up from. The opening music sets a serious, yet threatening tone in the background, which I highly admired. Though it is just a movie in the end, it stands for something real to our world; the threat of economic collapse will always exist as long as human beings are behind the system. We are flawed and therefore so is our system.
What I do have to make a note of, is that having an interest in business, finance, and the economy in general, greatly contributed to my enjoyment of this movie. Though I do believe an actual movie buff may find the film appealing, a common person with no interest in the topic, will likely not. It’s very set on and dedicated to it’s subject matter, which can be extremely boring to someone who’s hobbies and interests lie elsewhere.
Total Abstract Rating: 90% rounded up. It’s a movie. It’s meant to be dramatic and it’s meant to exaggerate. It certainly held my interest, but be cautious not to waste your time if you simply aren’t interested in the 2008 financial crisis.