Several weeks ago I watched parts of an interview with Matt Damon, where he slammed President Obama, as he expressed how disappointed he was with our President in terms of not bringing enough “real change,” to Washington D.C.-what he campaigned on. I was busy writing papers or grading papers, to watch the whole interview, but I wondered what he was specifically talking about. Now I know.
“Inside Job” is a must see for anyone who wants to get a thorough understanding of the financial crisis that befell the world’s economy back in 2008, and that we are still recovering from. The movie was directed by Charles Ferguson and narrated by Matt Damon.
The movie explained very complex financial terms, such as collateralized debt obligation (C.D.O.), derivatives, and credit default swaps, easier to understand. This is was what made this documentary so effective. That’s one aspect of this documentary’s message; to not allow the complex finance terminology deter citizens from seeking truth, justice, and accountability from large, powerful, financial institutions.
“Inside Job” chronicled the United States transition over the last 30-years to less regulated financial markets, and the efforts of politicians, government officials, and corporate business interests and its lobbyists, to continue on this path. What was particularly alarming was how intertwined all of these interests were with each other. As corporate leaders vacillated between the corporate climate and government financial administration positions, as well as the influence of these leaders in the academic field and public policy-it really is a vicious cycle. You can see the movie for more details, but it is very scary and eye opening.
This documentary is exhaustive in the amount of research it cites to support its points about the conflict of interest and ethical concerns that exists as it relates to public policy/government and corporate influence, as previously mentioned. The movie noted that there were signs that there might be huge problems with the way in which risky real estate home loans were being packaged as faulty (C.D.O.’s) and sold to investors abroad and at home as sound, low risk investments. That’s something I could have never explained before; but again, this movie does a wonderful job of making these complex transactions easier to understand.
“Inside Job” flowed well, as well as it could when discussing economics, and had some very cool music mixed in such as, “Big Time” – Peter Gabriel, relevant visuals and news reels, and in debt interviews with members from previous Presidential administrations, economic experts, legislators and advocacy groups, business professors, etc. Perhaps what’s most telling here is who chose not to be interviewed, such as: Alan Greenspan former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Robert Rubin, former United States Secretary of the Treasury, as well as a whole host of others. You have to wonder what they were hiding?
One thing that can’t be denied is the far reaching economic impact and devastation that the 2008 U.S. financial collapse had on the world’s economy. Millions globally became unemployed, including millions here in the U.S. In addition “Inside Job” noted that America’s debt doubled, many manufacturing jobs were eliminated and/or outsourced, and resources dried up because of lack of funding (such as, education).
This documentary further explained that the very people whose policies helped cause the destruction of the world’s economy, and inflicted so much financial heartache, are currently employed by the Obama administration; see Larry Summers and Ben Bernanke. Now I know what Damon meant, when he expressed his displeasure with President Obama’s economic policies and practices, which have resulted in no substantial change to how financial institutions do business.