Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inside Job - DVD Review

lll 1/2

Directed by Charles Ferguson.

At first I was afraid this was going to be another liberal polemic, one of those distorted Republicans-are-evil diatribes that Michael-Moore-wannabes churn out. It's narrated by Matt Damon and one of its first sympathetic talking-heads is left-wing boogeyman George Soros. But this movie has more on its mind. It's about explaining what happened, and it's beyond politics. A handful of really greedy, powerful men almost destroyed the world's economy, and they have yet to pay for it. In fact, they're keeping their millions and most of them are still doing the things that brought everything to a halt in 2008.

One thing this movie makes clear. These Wall Street brokers and bankers and traders aren't money-makers, they're money-takers. They come up with laws, lobby for them, get them, then exploit them to bend the market to their will and squeeze it for billions. But where do those billions come from? From the businesses, governments and individuals who are also investing.

And when it's over, it's also clear that nothing's really going to change. Tim Geitner's as guilty as Hank Paulson, and yet he's still in the Obama White House, and it's not like if a Republican gets elected, he's going to engage in financial reform. The chasm between the Top 1% and everyone else will grow, and another financial catastrophe will hit. It's just a matter of time.

Director Charles Ferguson stays off-screen, but he interviews some of the subjects, economic advisors, academics, culprits, and he can't hide his contempt when doing so. Picture when Jon Stewart interviewed Jim Kramer.

There are a couple details it skims over, like painting the economy as a utopia between the Great Depression and the Reagan Administration, but it's an entertaining, engaging, informative film.

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