DVD Review - Inside Job
Inside Job won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Narrated by Matt Damon and directed by Charles Ferguson, the movie charts the cause of the economic crisis in 2008. Basically, the federal government deregulated the financial system and without rules the financial system went wild. Ferguson calls it a bank robbery.
Ferguson breaks down the financial crisis into five parts and clearly explains step-by-step what happened and who was involved. Without explaining each step one at a time, and definining what derivatives and securitization are, I can say that large financial companies like AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac essentially developed Ponzi schemes. Many of which were built on the trading of high-risk mortgages and other subprime loans. Because of deregulation, other large financial companies like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley found ways to gamble and treat Wall Street like a corrupt casino.
Ferguson offers a straight-forward explanation, nothing spectacular. The information is important and understanding it is important, and that's the reason why it stands out and why seeing it is vital, but the documentary is standard in its production. Ferguson's interviews with Academics that ended with them getting upset over his accusing them of having conflict of interests was not as compelling as he might have thought. Jon Stewart's grilling of Jim Cramer about this same topic was more interesting. Ferguson merely came off as nitpicking.
The real bombshells were the realization that the predictions and warnings of Raghuram Rajan, the chief economist, formerly of IMF, went ignored, despite being absolutely accurate. What's also shocking is that President Obama, despite talking reform on the campaign trail, hired the same people into his administration who helped to cause the financial crisis.
Four Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for some drug and sex-related material.
Running Time: 2 hrs.