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The Big Short Explains What Happen to the U.S. Economy in '08

Updated on October 14, 2019
Robert J Sodaro profile image

Robert J. Sodaro is an American-born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.

The Big Short

This is where you money, home, and job went.
This is where you money, home, and job went. | Source


The Big Short:R” (1 h. 39 min.)

Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo

Directed by: Adam McKay

The Crash of '08

Back in 2008, the U.S. suffered a major economic meltdown as the home mortgage market crashed very bringing Wall Street with it, and nearly destroying our entire economy with it. To some, this economic disaster came as a big surprise; to a small group of other investors, they saw it coming, and prepared for it by buying to in order to turn a profit. So, while hundreds of us lost our homes, and had our lives turned inside out through the greed of a select group of privileged few, those people profited off our misery. This is their story.

The Big Short: Blu-ray

The Big Short
The Big Short
Based on the true story of four outsiders who saw what the big banks, media and government refused to: the global collapse of the economy. A bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of banking, where everyone and everything is in question.

How it all Went Down

Now, admittedly, the economics of what and why it all happened are both tricky and complicated, so director, Adam McKay took an unusual way to tell this convoluted story in such a way that ordinary folks like us can not only follow it but to comprehend it, and to do it in an entertaining fashion. All of which he somehow manages to accomplish brilliantly. The film begins with Jared Vennett (Gosling) tells the viewers that the world of banking used to be extraordinary boring. However, all of that changed when Lewis Ranieri (Eisenzopf) created a plan for mortgage-backed securities that would ensure larger profits with lower risks since everyone was paying their mortgages. This was huge for bankers, that is up until the year 2008 when the global financial crisis hit. Vennett went on to add that a small group of individuals saw this coming.

The Big Short: Trailer

Point #1

  • To properly explain what a subprime loan is, Vennett (still narrating) directs us to a woman (Margot Robbie) taking a bubble bath and drinking champagne to explain that "subprime" means "shit", and that the banks created them to add more mortgages to their plans.

The Crash of '08

Margot Robbie explains it all.
Margot Robbie explains it all. | Source

Point #2

  • Vennett brings us to real-life chef Anthony Bourdain to explain CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations) by comparing it to making a seafood stew from a bunch of fish that didn't sell too well.

Listen to the Chef

Something smells Fishy here
Something smells Fishy here | Source

Point #3

  • We also get watch Richard Thaler and Selena Gomez explain what a synthetic CDO is by comparing it to people making bets on Selena winning at blackjack in Vegas because her odds are looking good, until she deals a bad hand, and everyone loses.

Complex ideas Made Easy

Listen to Selena Gomez tell it like it is (was)
Listen to Selena Gomez tell it like it is (was) | Source

Why you Should Watch this Film

To be sure, the math, economics, and machinations behind what happened in ’08 are truly mead-spinning, but Vennett really does a great job in presenting the hows and why s of just what went wrong. This really is not only an entertaining film, but one that is educational and mind opening as well, and it should be seen by everyone whose life was affected byt eh the ’08 crash.

It all Falls Down

Using Jenga to explain the housing crash
Using Jenga to explain the housing crash | Source

© 2016 Robert J Sodaro


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