"Inside Job," A Movie Everyone Should See
"Inside Job," a "Must-see" Movie
Inside Job is a documentary written and directed by Charles Ferguson, narrated by Matt Damon and starring Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton, Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, Glenn Hubbard and many others whose obsession with deregulation and whose regulatory failures led to the banking crisis and worldwide recession that began in 2008 with the bankruptcy of Lehman and AIG and the collapse of GM and Chrysler.
The movie dissects the origin and development of the mortgage bubble, it's meltdown and the resulting world recession which resulted in 30 million people losing their jobs. Like Michael Moore's documentaries, Inside Job is composed of ambush interviews, news clips and comments by most of the key players who declined to be interviewed and by critics of banking practices and regulatory failures, beginning with the Reagan administration and continuing until the world wide economic crash which began at the end of the Bush administration in 2008.
The documentary takes viewers step by step through the developments, beginning with deregulation debacle in the savings and loan industry under Reagan and continuing through subsequent administrations including, importantly, the repeal under Bill Clinton of the Glass-Steagall Act which had required the separation of banking and riskier securities trading activities since 1933. The elements leading to the housing bubble and the financial meltdown were deregulation of the banking industry, securitization of the mortgage industry through the creation of mortgage derivatives, excessive bank leverage creating excessive risk and failure of the bond rating houses to accurately assess the risk brought about by securitization of subprime mortgages.
The movie is similar to several of Michael Moore's movies such as "Wall Street, A Love Affair." Inside Job's lack of Moore's humor is more than made up by the detail and clarity which it provides about the dogmatic faith in unregulated markets, abuses, growth and influence of Wall Street banking behemoths and how they have captured government economic and regulatory policy, including the recent weak regulatory bills signed by Barack Obama.
However, one of the most compelling and damning portions of the documentary is its expose of how the financial industry pays economists at top universities and graduate business schools to write articles expressing their viewpoints without disclosing the payments they get for the "research" and serving as directors of the companies. Larry Summers, former Clinton Treasury Secretary, Harvard President and chief Obama economic adviser, has made millions consulting for hedge funds. The Dean of the Columbia Business School, former Bush chief economist, R. Glenn Hubbard, and Reagan economist Martin Feldstein came across as arrogant and defensive when pressed by the interviewer about their ties to Wall Street and their role in the rush to de-regulation and tax cuts for the richest Americans. John Campbell, chairman of Harvard's economics department and Glen Hubbard were reduced by the interviewer's questions "to stammering obfuscation," to borrow a phrase from A.O. Scott's N.Y. Times review of the documentary.
The most discouraging conclusion of the documentary is it's demonstration of how seamlessly the the baton was passed from the Wall Street insiders and fanatical Friedmanite free market economists to Treasury Secretaries and de-regulators in the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations. And many of the same true believer captives of Wall Street were appointed by President Obama, belying and undermining his eloquent vows to reform the financial industry.
To borrow another phrase from A.O. Scott's review , the movie is "about a crime without punishment" and with millions of victims.
1-23-13NYTimesDealbook--"Bad Behavior at Morgan Stanley"
- Financial Crisis Suit Suggests Bad Behavior at Morgan Stanley - NYTimes.com
Documents released as part of a lawsuit against Morgan Stanley shed new light on what bankers knew at the height of the housing bubble and what they did with that secret knowledge.
10-14-12NYTimes "Sheila Bair Tells All About the NY Bank Bailouts by Gretchen Morgenson
- Bair Bares it All
As described by Ms. Bair, the events of the fall of 2008 showed that many financial regulators were desperate to make anyone but those who created the crisis pay for its devastation.
3-23-11WallStreetJournal--Goldman "had an inkling" about Gupta's Leaks of Insider Information to Galleon
- THE GALLEON TRIAL: Goldman Had \'Inkling\' of Investigation - WSJ.com
Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, testifying at the trial of Galleon's Raj Rajaratnam, said he had an inkling that the activities of Goldman director Rajat Gupta were under scrutiny by prosectors in March 2010, when the firm announced he
3-14NYTimes--"Another Inside Job" Paul Krugman Op-Ed
- Another Inside Job
I was glad to see Inside Job win an Oscar. It reminded us that the financial crisis of 2008, whose aftereffects are still blighting the lives of millions of Americans, didnt just happen it was made possible by bankers, regulators and economists.
2-25-11NYT Dealbook--Interview with Director of Inside Job
- After 'Inside Job,' Charles Ferguson Sees Little Change on Wall St. - NYTimes.com
Charles Ferguson, the director of "Inside Job," says he does not feel better about what he calls a "disturbing situation" and thinks a crisis could happen again in 10 years.
10-7-10NYTimes--"Inside Job" Review by A.O.Scott
- A.O. Scott Review of "Inisde Job"
Inside Job, a sleek, briskly paced film whose title suggests a heist movie, is the story of a crime without punishment, of an outrage that has so far largely escaped legal sanction and societal stigma. The betrayal of public trust...."
"Inside Job" Review by Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
- Inside Job movie review -- Inside Job showtimes - The Boston Globe
Fergusons documentary Inside Job, is infuriating the way the best nonfiction filmmaking can be. The movie succeeds at upsetting you not by losing its cool, the way so many similar films do, but by but by slow-cooking its argument.
"Inside Job" reviewed by Roger Ebert
- "Inside Job" Review by Roger Ebert
Charles Ferguson's Inside Job, is an angry, well-argued documentary about how the American financial industry set out deliberately to defraud the ordinary American investor. The crucial error was to allow banks to trade for their own accounts....
Margin Call Review, Life Imitates Art at MF Global
- Margin Call Review, and Life Imitates Art at MF Global
Margin Call imitates life in the last hours of Lehman Brothers and "life" imitates art in the last days of Jon Corzine's MF Global.
Merle Hazard Meets Arthur Laffer in the Hamptons and Sings the Hedge Fund Blues
- Merle Hazard Meets Arthur Laffer In the Hamptons and Sings About Hedge Funds
Rock Bottom In The Hamptons by Merle Hazard Hedge Funds--No thanks! Sophisticated Market Analysis linda Very funny but sad...lets hope Ben Stein gets his way and there is an investigation into Goldman Sachs...
New York Times--"Ethics for Economists"
- Ethics for Economists in "Inside Job"
We expect academic researchers who influence public opinion to divulge conflicts of interest, especially financial ties to individuals or organizations that gain from their influence. The Amer. Econ.Ass'n stands out for its lack of an ethics code.
Harper's Weekly, Mr. Fish
Reagan's Budget Director Stockman on the National Debt
- Stockman: Bush Administration and Paulson Destroyed Last Vestige of Fiscal Responsibility We Had in
As William Cohen noted, David Stockman continues to make the rounds after bucking with the Republicans on tax cuts for the rich last summer. A Republican for Higher Taxes: David Stockman has never been one to shy away from a roaring
Who's to Blame for the World Economic Crisis?
- Who's to Blame for the World Economic Crisis?
Bush Monkeys by the Wizard of Whimsey "Fool's Gold" by Gillian Tett and "Dumb Money by Daniel Gross reviewed by Michiko Katutani If you want to know how we got into the current global recession read Michiko...
Inside Job Gets Best Documentary Oscar Nomination
- Luries Inside Job gets Oscar nomination | Philadelphia Business Journal
Inside Job was one of five films nominated for an Academy Award as best documentary Tuesday. Lurie and his wife Christina Lurie served as executive producers of the movie about the worldwide financial crisis. The Luries helped finance the film thr