Tag: Inside Job

Inside Job

June 18th, 2011 — 4:25am


Inside Job-nf– Filmmaker Charles Ferguson takes a long, hard skillful look at the individuals and their actions which brought about the global economic meltdown of 2008. It is hard to come away from this Oscar nominated documentary without feeling some combination of anger and depression. Anger, because you see self-serving greed and even corruption among the financial leaders of this country. Depression, because you see that many of people in charge of our financial institutions today including many in the  highest positions in government are still not inclined to make changes to prevent  another financial crisis. If you can take a dispassionate view of this story, it feels as if you are watching a film showing you something about how the rise and  fall of the Roman Empire came about in some distant time. In this case however we are dealing with contemporary times. We learn how an economic boom led to a desire among those in the financial and banking industries to make  even more money as they transitioned from carefully investing their own money to going public and now risking other peoples’ money for tremendous payouts for themselves. The complicated concepts of derivatives is actually made sickeningly clear as we see how investments were really bets with essentially no clear downside for the bankers but devastating results for the middle class. No place was this more relevant  than in the home mortgage market where the financial guys would make their money on the volume of the mortgages sold and not on quality or  the ability of people who bought them to pay them off. Matt Damon is the narrator of the film although Ferguson does much of interviews. The film is interspersed with film clips of the leading players of this giant debacle from the officers of the big financial institutions to the well known faces in government including Paulson, Greenspan, Geitner and others with major government responsibility for regulation and policy. We see the story of the  march of deregulation from the Reagan, through the Bush years even including some during the Clinton White House. There is also  the apparent failure of the Obama administration , despite their bailout successes , to have regulated and overseen what should be regulated and overseen.  The lack of prosecution of some of the glaring criminal activities is highlighted and the obscene executive compensations, sometimes more than a hundred million dollars,  for people who participated in very questionable actions is spelled out. . (See an article MB wrote in the Huffington Post about this issue  over  a year ago). It is also quite disturbing to see the failure of he academic community to acknowledge the payments they receive from interested parties for their speeches and writings which supported the unstable financial situations that occurred. (These days the medical community is usually obligated to make disclosures of potential conflicts of interest  when speaking or writing ) Granted, the filmmaker is trying to make a point about the inside job, which was pulled off on the American people. There may be some other points of view, which he didn’t show but interviews made with top people, and the facts presented make it pretty easy to vote for conviction if we were the jury (even without cross examination from another viewpoint). Ferguson did have a great deal of access to top people some of whom asked him to turn off the camera once they were shown their inconsistencies. The movie is well edited to one hour and 48 minutes. Most of the film is sharp and well framed. When archival footage is used and it makes a point, you don’t mind if it isn’t top-drawer quality. Although a year old, it is still right on the mark for today. If you have a stake in this economy and the future of our country, you better understand what this film is saying. (2010)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Documentary

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