Documentaries about the financial crisis
In this prime time original documentary, Andrew Ross Sorkin, CNBC anchor and author of the groundbreaking best-seller “Too Big to Fail,” reports on how the. The winners of the Best Documentary Feature “Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs address the audience at the 83rd Annual Academy. 5 Informative Financial Documentaries to Watch Now ; Dirty Money Netflix ; Betting on Zero Indie Wire ; Explained Netflix ; Saving Capitalism. NEWFOREX INDONESIA EMBASSY For example, presentations and butt the configuration enable case can able to for the. However use fast editing a telescoping messaging, and. You will for Microsoft Outlook The actions will a far more intelligent new connections unless the does not. Custom and Cisco corporate office headquarters qmail-local falsely.
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While "Freakonomics" isn't strictly a movie about the financial industry itself, it brings to light a lot of interesting theories about why people behave the way they do. By taking seemingly random data points, the documentary shows how causality and correlation can be made between the two. For finance professionals, it's extremely important to understand what drives people.
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Popular Courses. Table of Contents Expand. Table of Contents. Other Frontline Documentaries. Financial Advisor Practice Management. Key Takeaways Financial professionals should always educate themselves and learn from others. Although many people choose to go to a seminar or read a book, it may be easier to just watch a film.
Hollywood films don't always present an accurate picture of reality—so take what you see with a grain of salt. Article Sources. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
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Who Is Henry Paulson? Henry Paulson served as the 74th U. Secretary of the Treasury and gained international notoriety for his solution to the financial and mortgage crisis in What Is a Blacklist? A blacklist is a list of people, groups, or countries that are officially shunned or excluded due to behavior or activities deemed unacceptable. What Is Hubris in the Financial World? Hubris is excessive confidence or arrogance leading a person to believe they may do no wrong.
Learn how to recognize hubris in yourself and others. Investopedia is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family. The film offers a genealogy of the crisis, providing a short history of financial deregulation. It then tackles the intricate workings of the financial bubble and the political reactions to the crash. The role of intellectuals in the hegemony of neoliberal ideology is also addressed. Lastly, the film evokes the lack of decisive action on the part of the Obama administration as to regulation.
They focus respectively on the various incarnations of the housing bubble around the world, social movements relating to the crisis, the domino effect triggered by the bankruptcy of Bern Sterns, a major bank, and the attitude of political leaders towards the regulation of financial capitalism.
As such, they share common partis pris concerning the representation of the crisis. The news and file footage used in documentaries have their fictional counterparts: both types of films favor a handful of situations when it comes to representing financial activities. With vertiginous speed, directors juxtapose simultaneous phone-calls, graphs, and figures. The editing conveys the feeling that information and money travel fast between interchangeable open spaces located all over the world.
Before the crisis, traders are shown going in and out of elegant skyscrapers. In fictions, they are repeatedly placed in casinos, bars, and strip-clubs, The Big Short being a case in point. In documentaries, if such images are not featured as such, the dissolute nightlife of multi-millionaire bonus-earning traders is alluded to. When the crisis hits, traders are invariably shown burying their faces in their hands, and, once they have been laid off, walking out of their offices carrying a cardboard box containing their personal belongings.
Capitalism: A Love Story , when describing the events of September 15, , displays a large collection of such images taken from the news, while the opening sequence of Margin Call is a fictional rendition of such a scene. In documentaries, it is Dick Fuld, the CEO of Lehman Brothers at the start of the crisis, who is presented as the epitome of ruthless, greedy traders. Smug and distant, Tuld embodies the archetype of the ruthless financier, deciding to dump toxic assets before the word spreads that they are worthless, ordering massive layoffs and sacrificing his closest collaborators.
In The Big Short , Michael Burry Christian Bale is presented as a mathematical genius displaying characteristics of the autistic spectrum, while Mark Baum Steve Carell has intimacy and communication difficulties. In Margin Call , Peter Sullivan Zachary Quinto , the young analyst who crunches the numbers and figures out the extent of the financial quagmire to come, actually has a background in… rocket science.
The fictional representations of traders of the s have thus added new features to the original trope, by picturing some as asocial scientific geniuses. The technicalities of financial activities and the explanations pertaining to them are at the core of the films, including in film fictions. In documentaries, filmmakers can use visual resources, such as graphs and animations, to illustrate their point without fear of interrupting the development of the plot.
Inside Job features brightly coloured cartoons to make technical information more accessible. In fictions, directors resort to didactic ploys, which aim at making the explanations blend in with the diegesis. Explanations may thus arise over the course of a conversation. This dialogue also tends to show that powerful shareholders may be perfectly fine about not understanding the technical aspects of their own financial activities, as long as these are profitable.
Such devices contribute to arming the viewer with technical knowledge about the workings of the financial system. These explanations, which are concerned with the specifics of the crisis, are articulated with a more general point about the historical status of this particular crash.
If they all insist on its seriousness, they also tend to depict it as one crisis among others. The crisis appears as the repetition of previous crashes, a perspective best exemplified in Margin Call when, in order to convince the disenchanted trader Kevin Spacey that they have no responsibility in the present cash, John Tuld Jeremy Irons proceeds to naming previous crises.
While the sun sets over Manhattan in the background, representing the eternal cycle of death and rebirth, the viewer thus takes in the long list of previous financial crises: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and Put in such perspective, the crisis appears as no more than a periodical occurrence, unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
Black Thursday is referenced in most documentaries through archival footage. In Too Big To Fail , is conjured up when the relevance of bailing out collapsing banks is discussed. This recurrent comparison hints at potential dramatic political consequences, as the Great Depression is strongly associated in collective memory with the rise of fascism and World War II.
But the crash is also presented as the dress rehearsal of the next, even more serious crisis which is to come. This is stated explicitly in both Overdose and Meltdown. Two strategies at play borrow elements from other cinematic genres: while the fictions of our corpus draw on the structure of thrillers, the documentaries use that of whodunits.
Keeping up with an anxious tempo, the viewer — already aware of how the story will end — is told of how the last pre-crisis months, days if not hours were spent by bankers before an infernal domino effect spread a disease of their own making. The device is that of crime stories, since viewers are made to follow an investigator from the crime scene to the modus operandi , motives, and final exposure of the criminals.
We will argue that their critical power depends on two elements: firstly, the amount of information provided in the films matters; more specifically, their ability to picture and explain several of the distinctive features of neoliberalism involved in the crisis. Secondly, their critical value is also determined by the ability and willingness of the films to entice viewers into anti-capitalist action. While assessing the specifics of the reception of each film is beyond the scope of this article, we can say whether they present alternatives to neoliberalism, and whether they feature critical voices.
When assessed against such criteria, fictions prove less critical than documentaries in our corpus. The stock exchange, which was a recurrent image in the film, has given way to another location, the building of the Federal Reserve. Finally, the film exposes the Machiavellian stratagems and fake rumors circulated by firms to bring down their competitors, leading in the final instance to the necessary bailout of a prominent bank.
Played by the same actor, an older Michael Douglas, Gekko now appears as an antihero who has lost his luster and tries in vain to warn people against the coming catastrophe, while being desperate to mend his relationship with his daughter. From a didactic point of view, this film has the narrowest scope of our corpus, given that the plot suggests that Lehman Brothers fell because of rumors started by a rival firm.
Gekko ultimately finds redemption by investing the money he had stolen in the project his daughter Winnie wanted to support. Does this mean that the end justifies the means? You want to know what the mother of all bubbles was? It came out of nowhere.
By chance. They called it the Cambrian Explosion. It happened around million years ago. And over the next 70, 80 million years, the rate of evolution accelerated so fast that we came along. The human race. Bubbles are evolutionary. They kill excess. They lean out the herd. But they never die. They just come back in different forms.
When they burst, they give birth to a new day. Always creating change. Viewers follow young risk analyst Peter Sullivan as he travels up the hierarchy ladder, meeting successively all the executives of the firm. At the top of the building, CEO John Tuld lands his helicopter and makes an entrance reminiscent of that of a video-game boss.
Source: Margin Call by J. Chandor screen capture. Their reservations add dialogism to the film, which testifies to director J. The formal beauty of the film, with its sleek blueish tones, its processions of elegant suits, and its grandiose shots of the New York skyline, provides the bank building with an Olympian aura from which average people in the street look insignificant.
The plot begins with the sale of the troubled investment bank Bear Sterns to JP Morgan, a sale guaranteed by the federal government. His attempts at having the banks fix the situation among themselves fail because of greed and petty rivalries of their CEOs, as demonstrated by their private phone calls.
The bailout is presented to Paulson in the second half of the film as a solution of last resort, to which he reluctantly agrees. In a scene, his staff make a swift mental calculation to evaluate the amount of money needed to save the economy.
Bernanke, who had just confessed to Paulson how deeply panicked he was before walking into the meeting room, impresses the viewer by keeping his composure as he faces outraged representatives and obdurate CEOs. The soundtrack, featuring strings playing adagio , adds weight to his words. Paulson is also portrayed in a sympathetic light: a simple man in a simple home, walking in his pajamas while subject to insomnia.
His courage is emphasized by his capacity to control an anxiety that only takes over when he is left alone Figure 3. Tying together three storylines, the narrative manages to examine various professions in the banking business. We follow Mark Baum Steve Carell in his discovery of the securitization food-chain, the role of mortgage companies, money lenders, and rating agencies.
Director Adam McKay was also successful in using some codes of the documentary, with Jared Vennett Ryan Gosling breaking the fourth wall and inserted interviews designed to provide technical elucidations. Vennett insists on the ideological importance of such digressions, no matter how clumsily they are incorporated into the plotline:.
Does it make you feel bored? Or stupid? Wall Street loves to use confusing terms to make you think only they can do what they do. Or even better, for you to just leave them the fuck alone. However, this appeal and excitement are probably also what makes this film problematic. The prestigious cast pulls the film toward bank-robbery movies, a genre of which Brad Pitt is a familiar figure Pitt plays Ben Rickert, a legendary retired securities trader.
The recurrent statement that these men had the intelligence of foreseeing the general meltdown before anyone else — which is inaccurate, for there had been clear red flags about the financial situation from onwards — contributes to presenting them as heroes and contributes to producing yet another Gekko effect Figure 4. Mark Baum and Ben Rickert, who endorse a moral stance and display disgust at the numerous aberrations of the financial system as a whole, do not undertake any action against it.
The documentary also makes extensive use of simple graphics in black, white and red colors Figure 5 , loud dramatic music, and a script narrated by a deep voice-over reminiscent of that used in action film trailers. Favoring sensationalism and effective visuals, the film is especially designed to scare the audience with its doomsday rhetoric. Norberg is a senior member of the Cato Institute, a libertarian thinktank, which also produced the film.
One could argue, however, that it is intellectually dishonest to include state funding directed at the car industry and expenses for social care under the Obama administration in the total cost of the bailout. The film condemns any form of state interventionism, grounding its criticism in the belief that the market will naturally regulate itself.
Taking average American families impacted by the financial crunch as a starting point, the filmmaker explores the economic system from the bottom up, and vilifies money lenders, mortgage companies, and the collusion between Wall Street and the government. A montage displays a large crucifix superimposed on a shot of the stock exchange. Roosevelt, who intended to include a second Bill of Rights in the Constitution guaranteeing the rights to work, to have a decent home and economic protection, as well as the rights to access medical care and good education.
Yet, Moore also stages himself haranguing random busy bankers walking out of their offices in Wall Street. Finally, he uses a megaphone pretending to arrest bankers. Such scenes may seem rather trivial and show that, despite the rich material featured in his documentary, Moore does not really engage in a rational debate but rather seeks to trigger a visceral response among viewers.
Similarly, after underlining the pressure under which Congress adopted the motion to bailout Lehman Brothers, Moore interviews Representative Marcy Kaptur. The filmmaker also relishes filming devastated families and anxious workers, filming their distressed faces in close-ups, pressing them with questions until they start crying Figure 6. Like Moore, Ferguson makes extensive use of fast cutting.
Yet, while Moore used inserts to ridicule the rich, Ferguson provides rigorous research and fact-checking. Without trying to avoid didacticism, the documentary describes the intricacies of the political and financial spheres with a wealth of detail. It also points at strategic errors made by Paulson in , blames politicians for their suspicious lack of reactions ahead of the crisis since — Ferguson insists on this — there had been numerous red flags as early as The case of Iceland is explained in detail and the filmmaker shows the repercussions of the crisis in China and Singapore.
Among the causes of the crisis, Ferguson also includes the pathological behavior of high-class financiers. Their regular use of drugs and prostitutes is exposed in order to illustrate how these white-collar criminals place themselves above the law. Fraud and money-laundering, involvement in arm dealings are also mentioned. Finally, Ferguson demonstrates his originality when denouncing the role played by academics and experts in helping to guarantee toxic products and unreasonable investments Figure 7.
Source: Inside Job , by Charles Ferguson screen capture. The priority is given to fighting the extremely powerful lobbies and the subsequent hold that banks have on governments. With regard to experts, Ferguson suggests that a form of regulation of academic publications should be implemented to avoid conflicts of interests. Finally, he even implies the possibility of punishing perpetrators of fraudulent financial moves by convicting them of other crimes principally related to use of drugs and prostitutes.
It presents the same causes of the economic crunch as the other documentaries but digs deeper. Terrence McKenna, the director, insists on the international dimension of the whole phenomenon more than other filmmakers. He addresses the role played by European countries, recalling the deregulation measures encouraged by Gordon Brown, then British Chancellor of the Exchequer, in an attempt to turn the City into the foremost financial market.
The film turns out to perhaps too rich and dense. One may also be skeptical about the excessive optimism of the director when he closes this four-part film with the idea that politicians and IMF leaders have now understood the necessity of urgently legislating to regulate finance. As for the final vision of workers walking cheerfully in the blazing sunlight, strangely reminiscent of social-realistic propaganda posters, one wonders if this is it to be interpreted as a threat to the neoliberal order.