Adam McKay's The Big Short, AIG, Ben Bernanke, Charles Ferguson's Inside Job, Cliton administration, congressional Republicans, Goldman Sacks, Henry Paulson, Morgan Stanley, the financial deregulation in 1999
Last weekend my husband and I watched Adam McKay’s critically acclaimed film The Big Short. I wanted to see the film for some time, but since my husband was not as eager, we waited until it became available for online rental.
The Big Short is about a number of small financial players as the financial crisis of 2008 developed over time from 2004 to 2008. The film which it says is mostly based on real stories clarifies that the economic crisis was caused by the greedy and unethical bankers and investors who exploited the deregulation of financial practices in the United States that was activated by the Clinton administration and congressional Republicans in 1999. Unlike Charles Ferguson’s excellent 2010 documentary film Inside Job, The Big Short is meant to be entertaining with its comic flares and knowing jokes. But, the film is as effective as Inside Job in its objective to inform average people of the criminal behaviors of bankers and investors who were never indicted or punished for their maleficence in the economic collapse of 2008. It also reminded me of the scary time of the fall of 2008 when the economic collapse became all too probable. I still remember the hurried faces of Wall Street players, such as Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, who are ordinarily considered as shadow players in our political system. At that time we did not really understand what had been happening to our financial system. So, when Fed Chairman Bernanke remarked that there would be no economy to rescue if someone did not do something fast during his meeting with members of Congress it created one of the biggest scares: this could be worse than the Great Depression. Thus, when big financial institutions, such as AIG, Goldman Sacks, and Morgan Stanley, were rescued – presumably avoiding the frightening specters of an American and global financial crisis – I felt relieved. But, now I know that the financial crisis of 2008 was largely preventable if the financial sectors were watched over by objective and ethical people (not those credit-rating company workers who dream about golden “revolving door”).