I finally watched Inside Job, the Oscar-winning documentary on the Wall Street - Washington corruption that caused the financial crisis. Some conservatives have complained that the filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, is a lefty who minimizes Fannie and Freddie's role in the housing bubble, and overemphasizes "deregulation." These are fair but minor points (Ferguson also gets in a gratuitous shot at the Bush tax cuts). The overwhelming theme of the film is that Wall Street, Washington, and economic academia are all thoroughly corrupt and are enriching themselves at our expense. And the case is made airtight. Ferguson rightly attacks all of the key players: Paulson, Greenspan, Bernanke, Rubin, Mozilo, Fuld, etc. And he pulls no punches in excoriating Obama's failure to deliver on reform promises: "it's a Wall Street government."
The film's narrated conclusion: For decades, the American financial system was stable and safe. But then something changed. The financial industry turned its back on society, corrupted our political system, and plunged the world economy into crisis. At enormous cost, we've avoided disaster and are recovering, but the men and institutions that caused the crisis are still in power, and that needs to change. They will tell us that we need them, and that what they do is too complicated for us to understand. They will tell us it won't happen again. They will spend billions fighting reform. It won't be easy. But some things are worth fighting for.
I cannot recommend Inside Job highly enough, especially as a great introduction for those who don't follow this stuff as closely as some of us do. Order it here, and if you have friends and family who don't understand how we were robbed, send them copies too.
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When Enron tanked, UBS took over their energy trading platform, moved the business from Houston to Stamford, CT., took some of the employees with them, and I guess hung out a different shingle. Same shit, different decade. Where in the wide, wide world of sports would we be as a species without "global wealth management for douchebags"?
Oddly, I just saw this too on the flight. Great film, and aside from a couple cheap shots, it was dead on target where it matters most. It was especially strong on the university cocksuckers who get big money to make sleazy financial sector actors look respectable just before they collapse and rob the taxpayer blind; gross conflicts of interest everywhere, and zero accountability for all involved. Yes, it is the essential film to see on the subject, and it does cover the main issues that all my dumbass family still knows nothing about; maybe we can air it at halftime?
As a life-long conservative, this shit is way past the artifice of party politics; I hate Hank Paulson more than Rick Rubin, but I want both of them ruined.
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