on April 17, 2016
This movie really helps explain how it all began, and the reluctance and intimidation not to put an end to it. Another companion movie would be The Big Short. And much like it describes, it's like loaning a little old lady a dollar in Las Vegas to play a slot machine. She's a sweet old thing that's going against her morals a bit, but no doubt has the money to cover the dollar should she loose. Now IF she wins, you don't want to get just your dollar back, you'd like to get some of the winnings too. So you tell your friends you think this little old lady is going to win the jackpot off your dollar you loaned her because she seemed so nice and reluctant to play - she's bound to win. So your friends give you TWO dollars to cover her, line your pockets in the meantime, and double their money in the end. Now if she does win, you're going to be in the hole again paying your friends back, so you give that extra dollar to a drunk that can't even see straight, and you tell your other friends he's going to loose BIG. Sure, you'll loose your dollar on him, but you're willing to risk it by taking the bet with your friends that 100 to 1 he'll loose. So they put up THREE dollars to see if you;ll be right. Then you get scared that the little old lady might loose, and the drunk may win - so you take out insurance to protect against bad fate. Your friends worry too behind your back, and they take out opposite insurance. And to cover yourself, and your friends and their friends - you all take bet's on the multitude of outcomes. The little lady wins with three cherries, and the drunk looses with one star, a lemon, and a cherry. But maybe the lady will loose with that, and the drunk will win with three stars? What are the odds, and what are the payouts? It's as risky as anything, but if it's packaged as say 'Las Vegas Investment Package' it looks more attractive then. And in case it all goes sour, have an almost identical set up as 'The Atlantic City Option Program'. Someone's bound to win there, or loose BIG TIME. Couple that with the illustrious 'Monte Carlo Surefire Set' and the 'Russian Roulette Premium Package' and one's surely bound to cover the other, win or loose. And what happens - the drunk finds $10 on the floor and walks out, the old lady looses and blows her brains out with a revolver, Monte Carlo gets hit by a hurricane, and Russia takes on the cattle market. Who knew? Oops! Sorry friends, but we were pretty close - weren't we?
Better luck next time. Hey, who do you think will get to Mars first? Virgin's looking for capital, and Branson's a smart dude... So watching this movie made me shake my head in disbelief, then anger, then sadness, and finally just pity. No matter how one hopes to work to get a family, and take out a loan for a nice house. Or someone comes up with a brilliant way to get to Mars and back on a daily basis. Those funding loans, regardless of interest rates and penalties, are merely ticket issuance to the horse races now. If the family and house work out, great. Pay off the mortgage and the interest and all. The bank not only makes a small profit off that, but extra as well. If Mars Express fails, and billions go out the window - well billions come back in through the back door, because that business was never going to take off in the first place. Too bad we lost Joe's Bank from it for handing out the money in the first place. But we all knew Joe was a dope to begin with, right? Let's go for sushi. How does one stop that? Wave the Ginsu knife at the suits and say 'No sushi for you!' Throw them in jail for playing a dice game in the 60th floor boardroom? Because that's exactly what they're doing, and are cleared to do for time to come. One is truly better off keeping their money under their mattress today than ever before. Save, buy, and keep the receipt, because chances are someone in Belgium will say they own it too. And in all probability - do.
I am always skeptical of documentaries. They are a bit too sensational, a bit too journalistic, not scientific enough, they rarely ponder the different factors involved in a given event or phenomena appropriately and usually require the audience to be able to bring their own critical thought to the process. And often, the audience's critical thought is simply not informed enough.
This is the case with INSIDE JOB as well. It is difficult to parse out the information from the opinions of the people who made the documentary. So I am a bit irritated by this documentary.
But I must say that, if only 10% of what is reported here is accurate (and I tend to think that more than 10% is accurate) then our western economies are in incredibly dire straights and this documentary does an incredibly important service in ringing this bell. To be honest, with the little information I have on economics in the US and elsewhere, after watching this documentary, I was first angry at being taken for a ride by the insatiably greedy, but also very fearful that our economies are in their hands. There is definitely a frightening perspective in this documentary if 10% of what is said is accurate.
On the down side, we are left with a sense of powerlessness at the end. What can be done? Even Obama seems to have succumbed to the evil ones... one is left with the impression that there will be a great need to live courageously and face even greater economic setbacks and poverty... so that a few can play.