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Inside Job Documentary
Directed by Charles Ferguson, “Inside Job” details the causes and results of the financial meltdown of 2008. The documentary, a sleek Wall Street film, whose heading proposes a robbery film, details a criminality without retribution, a scandal that has mostly absconded the legal endorsement and societal disgrace (Ferguson 1). In addition, the documentary chronicles the duplicity of shared values and public trust by the same people who should have disallowed the financial crisis. The film chronicles the issues that surrounded the real estate bubble, the growing complexities within the financial sector, the eruption of the subprime lending, countless warnings on the impending financial crisis, and soaring of share indexes that marked the financial crisis. In this regards, the assessment of the documentary will reveal the main causes and consequences of the financial crisis.
As the documentary chronicles the happenings leading to the financial crisis, it provides a critical analysis on the causes of the financial crisis, and how even after the banking crash, the government and the private sector have done little to reform the sector or prosecute the main protagonists who partook in the crisis (Varon 21). The film provides a comprehensive framework on the people who caused the financial crisis, mostly politicians, bankers, academics, credit rating agencies, and regulators, all of whom played a significant role in the crisis. Advocates of deregulation and people who related well with the government took a greater role in the crisis, which maimed the banking sector of America. On the other hand, some academicians believe that the banks understood the financial climate, supported deregulation, and saw the financial crisis as an economic bubble that would wither with time.
Whether the bankers and politicians took large bundles of cash did not matter as long as the economy responded to the crisis positively. However, the film and other remarkable studies suggest that the relationship between the main causes of the financial crisis was a significant factor that led to the crisis and more so the long period the banking sector took to recover (Varon 19). In addition, to the politicians and bankers, the film stresses that Capitol Hill, regulators, Wall Street, and numerous academics played a critical role in the crisis. However, the film stresses that although societal stigma may play a role in blaming the players or forcing them to pay, legal sanctions may not play a role since the players utilized high levels of securitization and complex credit default swaps that only a non-partisan and a powerful body can offer judgment.
The financial meltdown wrecked billions of stockholders’ wealth, devastated a large number of pensioners, reduced millions of people unemployed, caused international crises of magnitudes unseen since the great depression, and wrecked the economy of America greatly(Fergusson, Beck, Bolt and Damon 12). However, the crises generated a comprehensive outlook on the state of affairs in the financial sector, which may generate a worse crisis in the future. The Wall Street CEOs acted as powerbrokers and lobbyists before and during the crisis, where they broke laws and collaborated with the government to generate the crisis. On the other hand, whistle blowers warned of an impending crisis, but they did not explain the causes or measures to control the crisis. In this regards, the film proffers an exact and abridged outlook of the securitization process of bank loans and mortgages that created the crisis.
“Inside Job” shows how the Wall Street geniuses used mathematical wizardly and glamorous products to cause the crisis for their own financial sake. In essence, Wall Street notions such as Structured Investment Vehicles, Credit Default Swaps, Collateralized Debt Obligations, and Market Markers appear as the vehicles used by the brokers, supine regulators, politicians, and bankers to rob the public. The culture of focusing on bonuses and quarterly reports within Wall Street, brokers’ undertakings of regulating derivative markets and OTC and use of hedge funds to rob the public appear as the mainstream principles used by the power brokers during the crisis. Interviews of Larry Summers and Alan Greenspan show how poor brokers in Wall Street used mathematical wizardly to benefit from deregulation and market derivative that drove the financial sector. In this regards, as shown throughout the film, Wall Street brokers, regulators, politicians, bankers, and government agencies used the existing loopholes in the sector to create a crises, which the same people used to coerce the government to bail out companies.
As most people would want to suggest that deregulation of the banking sector occurred during Bush’s era, the film provide a critical perspective on the period the American government deregulated the banking sector i.e. Bill Clinton’s period (Fergusson, Beck, Bolt and Damon 12). Interestingly, the film provides the issues that surrounded the bailouts of several companies by the government that had together with other players wrecked the companies. The government forced the companies to repay the loans with huge interests i.e. companies such as AIG, JP Morgan, and Goldman were forced by the government to take the bailouts, then forced to repay with punitive interests (Fergusson, Beck, Bolt and Damon 12). However, the film does not provide a scenario on the rampant corruption that occurred during the crisis, and only attempts to provide a whitewash criticism of the players to the crisis.
On the other hand, the film provided a framework analysis on the happenings that surrounded the financial crisis, but fails to consider other occurrences elsewhere or draw comparisons to global economics. In this regards, the film does not expose the whole fraud that occurred during the crisis and only attempts to show the main players during the crisis. As such, the film fails to discuss some of the issues that were critical to the crisis such as the role of the Federal Reserve in overseeing the banking sector, the cartel potential of the Federal Reserve, the investment portfolio of credit rating agencies, and the issues regarding negative interest rates for banks.
However, the film provides an analysis on the lobbyist aspect of bankers, how bankers own the economic profession, and the relationship between the government and banks (Fergusson, Beck, Bolt and Damon 12). In this regards, the film provide an analysis on the mainstream corruption that occurred during the financial crisis, although the criticism is just a tiny story of the whole happenings. On the other hand, the film base the chronicles on interviews, but unfortunately the interviewed such as Eliot Spitzer, Dominique Strauss Khan, and Glenn Hubbard do not come across as genuine sympathizers of the public. The film provide the link between the government and bankers through Larry Summers, but one cannot project a case against him since major complexities surround securitization and credit default swaps. In this regards, the film shows that although the players may be responsible for their crimes, more so in causing the crisis, the legal conviction remains a farfetched notion. In some instances, the movie vilifies individual traders who may not have played a role in the crisis such as Chuck Prince, president of Citigroup. Nevertheless, the film will make people distrust the banking industry, vilify the government, pray for more regulation in the banking industry.
Works Cited
Fergusson, C. J., C. Beck, A. Bolt, and M. Damon. “Inside job.” A documentary film about the late-2000s financial crisis directed by Charles Ferguson and co-written with Chad Beck (2010).Ferguson, Charles. Inside job. Dir. Charles Ferguson. Perf. Audrey Marrs, Charles Ferguson. Sony pictures home entertainment e?d., 2010. Blu-Ray.Varon, Jeremy. “It’s Good to Be King: The Crisis Documentary and the American Dreamscape: Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?, You’ve Been Trumped and The Queen of Versailles.” New Labor Forum. Vol. 23. No. 1. SAGE Publications, 2014.