Last night I saw Inside Job – a documentary about the 2008 market crash that predominantly concentrated on the dynamic between Wall St. and the U.S. government. Normally, I would not write a post about a movie. However, I left the theatre with new-found respect for Hollywood, as it was enlightening, comprehensible and fairly entertaining as far as documentaries go (I did not check the time once).
The film is described as a “comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis…”. Generally, I disagree with this statement. The documentary, which is brilliant in my eyes, is not globally comprehensive. However, it stripped down the U.S. financial crisis into 4 easy to understand parts. It clearly described what caused the collapse of Wall Street, the general greed of the financial industry and the Wall St. dynamic, the connection between Wall Street and Washington, and the aftermath changes, or lack thereof. It featured a number of enlightening and sometimes embarrassing interviews with politicians, economists, and financial professionals. Overall, all of this concentrated on the United States. The documentary barely spilled overseas other than the mention of Iceland’s deregulation of the financial industry and the country’s financial collapse, and a few interviews with European and Asian politicians. Inside Job is a film everyone should see to understand, more comprehensively, not only what happened in 2008, but also the interconnected dynamic of U.S. financial and political systems. I think the film did a poor job of explaining just how much and what kind of influence U.S. has on the rest of the world and why the fall of Wall Street caused such a ruckus internationally. However, that’s 2 more documentaries right there.
I do have to mention that this documentary has to be looked at with an open mind and a tad of scepticism. Do remember that Charles Ferguson, the director, is trying to make money off of this, and taking into account how angry and uncertain the general public of the world still is, certain parts and interviews of the documentary are one-sided. Thus, pick out the facts and do not leave the theatre angry, as I believe the documentary tries to skew its viewers that way, a bit. There is nothing we can do to overhaul our financial systems, but we have to be smart investors ourselves to make it better.
P.S. My most favourite quote of the movie is “It’s a Wall Street government”, which sums everything up quite nicely. There should be a tee-shirt made with that quote!