2008 global financial crisis
, credit crunch
, Great Depression
, inside job
Despite having one hundred and something plus channels on my satellite tv, last night we couldn’t find anything to watch.
The new series of ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ doesn’t start until next week and despite my best efforts I wasn’t able to convince my wife that the Middlesbrough vs Sunderland FA Cup replay would be something she’d really like if she just gave it a chance.
So we checked out the content of ‘the Planner’ – the repository of stuff you record but probably won’t get round to watching, then delete when you can’t remember why you recorded it in the first place.
Sitting in the Planner from the tail end of 2011 was ‘Inside Job – Storyville’. The synopsis said it was an Academy Award winning forensic analysis of the 2008 global financial crisis, tracing the emergence of a rogue culture within the finance industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. At a cost over $20 trillion, the crisis caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly caused global financial collapse.
And Matt Damon does the voiceover.
Not an especially jolly topic for a Wednesday night and a bit of a busmen’s holiday for someone who works in financial services compliance all day. But we already had some knowledge of the events which took place and an interest in what’s going on it the world, so it seemed worth a go. And the FA Cup obviously wasn’t happening.
I’m not going to try and undertake any sort of high level critique. Suffice to say, it was pretty amazing and well worth all the accolades it received.
The film traces the crisis from inception to aftermath and is really quite accessible, whilst still providing a solid understanding of the key issues. The sums of money involved, the blinkered approaches, the recurring characters and the apparently blindingly obvious conflicts of interest highlighted were quite incredible. There are a lot of people who ‘declined to be interviewed’ and several more who acceded to the request, only to wish they hadn’t.
You’ll be amazed, outraged and amused in equal measures.
And of course, this is going to run and run, as many of those who were worst affected by the losses incurred are now suing the culprits for fraud.
Good luck with that, Joe Public.
Where to find it
It seems to be available from online DVD retailers at a reasonable price. I have noticed a number of websites which are offering to let you download / stream it for nothing. Whether this is legal or not I’ve no idea - on your head be it.
However, to whet your appetite, here is the link to the Sony website, where you can see the trailer and some of the awards it’s won.
It really is worth a look – it’s not often you get to see something that is so enjoyable to watch, whilst also teaching you something too. A Wednesday night well spent.
And I found out the FA Cup score afterwards. Sunderland won 2-1.