Friday, July 22, 2016

"The Big Short" (2015)

Much like “Moneyball,” “The Big Short” takes a book that is not a traditional movie-style story, and presents it in a creative, compelling fashion. Plenty of fourth-wall-breakage, celebrity cameos explaining financial concepts, and fictional characters taking the place of real-life-people add up to an interesting, fresh film experience.

The main thing learned after watching it is that, apparently, bankers like to cuss… a lot.

But the other thing this film teaches us is that conventional wisdom, especially where it concerns the economy in recent years, can be terribly, tragically wrong. And despite the crash of less than a decade ago, things may have not gotten any better.

The film tracks the story of a handful of financial types back in the mid-oughts who saw the fact that the American economy was built upon lies. Namely, that credit—that American foundational value that has everyone believing that you can buy now and pay later—was being given out recklessly and with complete abandon because rich people were able to get richer buying and selling loans like a commodity while poor people were being sold a lie. The lie was that everyone had a right to own a house, or houses, regardless of whether or not they could afford it.

“The Big Short” shows us that there is no limit to the capacity of collective ignorance, and that people will hate you for speaking a truth that is unpopular.

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