Inside Job

Why do you have big banks? Well, because banks like monopoly power; because banks like lobbying power; because, um, banks know that when they’re too big, they will be bailed.” — Willem Buiter, Chief Economist, Citigroup

How would you like to get angry today? Perhaps direct your anger at the banking industry? Did you just say yes? Then let the sweet, sweet voice of Matt Damon tell you about the real causes of the Global Economic Crisis of 2008 in Charles Ferguson’s documentary Inside Job.

Divided into five parts, Inside Job gives you an analysis of the crisis which left millions of people without their homes, jobs and income. It leads you through thirty years of economic history showing how it got to that point and the roles of insiders who profited from it. Starting with the example of Iceland, a formerly stable and highly developed country, this documentary shows how the crisis was essentially caused by the deregulation of banking. It fairly criticizes all previous political parties in power in the section How We Got Here, the managerial decisions and frauds in the Bubble, the downfall of the economy and its effects in the Crisis, the Accountability of those involved and their (lack) of punishment, and Where We Are Now in regards to politics, economy, and the banking sector.

Providing extensive research, with smart interviews and great ‘interrogation’ tactics, the documentary provides testimonies of insiders, politicians, journalists, economists, and academics. Some of the people involved in the creation of the crisis did not let themselves be interviewed, but they were pointed out, causing doubts about their innocence, and shown using previous press clips. Those who did respond often implicated themselves and talked a lot without actually saying anything. They defended themselves with ‘brilliant’ answers such as “Well then, you know, then the answer is, I just don’t, don’t know enough to t-, really answer your question on this particular issue” (Frederic Mishkin) and “I, you’ll have to be specific” (Scott Talbott). It makes you wonder how such smart individuals got their jobs in the first place. Honestly, we had to pause a couple of times just to vent. The insiders presented in the documentary destroyed their own companies for profit, bet against the stocks they sold, caused immense damage to the world’s economy, walked away with their fortunes and no punishment, and had the nerve to get angry at some of the questions asked.

Don’t worry, even if some Machiavellian part of your personality finds itself admiring the admittedly smart plan for becoming obscenely rich with no regards for anyone else, the portrayal of the devastating impact it had on regular people across the world will cure you of it.

With the clever use of music to provide a touch of comic relief and point to the hypocrisy and irony, the documentary makes you smile even as you boil inside. There are some economic terms which might be harder to understand if you do not have a background in economics. Most of the information is presented clearly, with understandable graphics, and explanations, so even if you do not understand something, it is not difficult to connect the information and maybe learn something new.

Inside Job concludes with the analysis of the current political climate and its lack of interest in the prosecution of those truly guilty for the economic crisis – only underlings were ever punished, with those at the top left unscathed. The key players where even hired again as consultants in the government and other major institutions. However, the documentary points at a possible method for dealing with them, and as its key achievement, it brings to light the link between the academia and investors, the conflicts of interest, corruption, and the devastating impact it has on the education in the field of Economy.

So, if you think you can watch it without breaking your television or computer, we suggest you watch it, learn something new, and gain some insight into how our world is run.

IMDb 4.1 /5
4.1 out of 5
Rotten Tomatoes 4.9 /5
4.9 out of 5
Rogue Cinema 4.7 /5
4.7 out of 5

Combined average

4.57out of 5

4.57 out of 5
Category Documentary