Posted by: mutantpoodle | November 7, 2010

I’m sure thy’ve learned their lesson…

Just got back from seeing Inside Job, which chronicles the financial meltdown in detail: the calamitous deregulation that made it possible and the corrupt at every step process that led to trillions of dollars of exposure from the brilliant business decision to lend lots of money to people who had no ability to pay it back.*

As I left the theater, these thoughts ran through my head, roughly simultaneously:

  • It’s probably best that I saw this film at night, in West Los Angeles, on a Sunday, unarmed, as opposed to, say, mid-day on a weekday near the southern tip of Manhattan while carrying my Tea Party mandated AR-15 Assault Rifle.
  • It’s nice to know that the free market is so forgiving of people’s mistakes that it allows people who are overextended on their credit to remain in their homes while they work out reasonable arrangements the geniuses who caused this mess to continue to make millions of dollars pimping a completely dysfunctional financial system. (Well, dysfunctional for most of us.)
  • Academic economists really should rethink their code of ethics. Or, you know, create one.
  • Clearly, this could all have been prevented if we’d cracked down on those damned illegal immigrants years ago.

At one point in the film, Director Charles Ferguson is interviewing former Bush Under Secretary of the Treasury David McCormick, and suggests, in essence, that the Bush regulators blew it. McCormick’s response would have shamed a junior finance executive trying to cover his ass for screwing up a quarterly forecast. He – and quite a few others, essentially channeled Otter from Animal House: “You fucked up… you trusted us!”

Also, too: Larry Summers doesn’t come out of the film looking good. Bonus: this Social Network clip that distills, in Sorkinian brilliance, Summers’s arrogant cluelessness.

We ran into friends in the lobby who were about to see Fair Game, which, after this, I probably should avoid unless I’ve pre-dosed myself with valium.

* Not, mind you, that it’s a great idea to borrow money that you can’t possibly repay, but it seems to me that the party with the fiduciary duty in a transaction should prevent people from ever having to wrestle with their ethical duty with respect to accepting unaffordable loans that said party is, instead, begging them to take.

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Responses

  1. It’s a real heartbreaker to realize that the propaganda we grew up on about America probably always was a lie. I looked at hubby around 2006 and said, Hon, we grew up and lived through the era of hope that was 20th century America, but it’s over.

    The Presidency of Wubya Bush and Anti-Christ role model Dick Cheney taught me a bitter lesson about human beings: we’re highly susceptable to greed and/or we’re much stupider than we think, with exceptions being far in the minority. We’re kind of doomed. sigh

    Well, it’s been a great planet for humans while it has lasted.


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