Sunday, May 1, 2011

Subprime Bust Part 2 - INSIDE JOB the Movie

INSIDE JOB. At 5.14am earlier this morning I was still awake. And guess what, I only dozed off at about 9.30am. For this loss of sleep I must blame INSIDE JOB, a movie which according to the tagline, costs $20,000,000,000,000.00 to make. The movie was in fact a documentary, directed by Charles Ferguson, about the subprime bust in the USA which almost tipped the entire global economic structure into chaos. In my earlier posting entitled 'Michael Lewis (Wall Street Insider) Mikhail Taufiq (Venture Capitalist) and the Subprime Bust"(Click Here) , I touched a little about this scandal.

AMAZING MOVIE. If you wish to know just how close the world came to a financial tsunami of biblical scale, you MUST see this movie. The list of luminaries alone (both the villains and heroes of this Wall Street escapade) which were interviewed is a good reason enough to watch it - Willem Buiter – Chief economist for Citigroup. John Campbell – Department chair of Harvard University’s Department of Economics. Kristin Davis – Best known as the “Madam” to countless investment bankers. Martin Feldstein – The George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Jerome Fons –Served as Managing Director of Credit Policy at Moody’s Investor Services. Barney Frank – Democratic Representative for the state of Massachusetts. Samuel Hayes – Hayes holds the Jacob H. Schiff Chair in Investment Banking Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. Glenn Hubbard – Chief Economic Advisor during the Bush Administration and current Dean of the Columbia University Business School. Christine Lagarde – The French Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs, Industry and Employment. Jeffrey Lane – CEO of Modern Bank, and former Chairman and CEO of Bear Stearns Asset Management. Lee Hsien Loong – The current Prime Minister of Singapore. Frederic Mishkin – American economist and professor at Columbia Business School, Mishkin was a member of the Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2008. Charles Morris – Author of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers and the Great Credit Crash. Raghuram Rajan – An economist and Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. Andrew Sheng – Chief Advisor to the China Banking Regulatory Commission. George Soros - is a Hungarian-American currency speculator, stock investor, businessman, philanthropist, and political activist. Dominique Strauss-Kahn – Current Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and former Minister for Finance, Economy and Industry, France. Paul Volcker – An American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Carter and Reagan from 1979 – 1987. Scott Talbott – Top lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable. Nouriel Roubini – Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business at New York University. (write-up extracted from the movie's PressKit)

MATT DAMON TURNS UP THE HEAT. The narrator and interviewer was none other than Mr. Bourne Ultimatum himself, Matt Damon. I wonder just how many of the super-bosses interviewed thought "Hey, I am going to be interviewed by Matt Damon. The kids are gonna love this. I bet Matt haven't a clue and will throw me easy questions to answer... this is going to be a walk in the park". Or so they thought.See bankers, regulators and acadamicians (under pay of the financial industry) squirm in the interview chair, looking like they rather be a million miles away from the interview and Matt Damon. See grown men (the villians are all men) lie to the camera and asking for a break in the interview to regain their composure. See one particular guy lose his cool and insult Matt. Hehehe.

MOVIE ACCOLADES. The movie is brilliant and already recognised so, winning the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature recently in February 2011, and before that the Writers Guild of America Award AND the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Documentary Screenplay and Best Documentary. Sunshine, if you are an American, I suggest you spend some quality time to watch the movie. It is very enlightening, to say the least. I am not saying that the sinner predicted the subprime catastrophe, but in 2004 I recorded this prose...

188. Paper Promises
Paper money make poor substitute
For gold and silver,
A mode of transaction
On human promises.
And oh, how well
We know of man
And his paper promises!

OUT! OUT! OUT! When Jesus, the Prince of Peace, kicked out the money-lenders out of the Temple, I don't think it is because he disliked how they smelled. The economy, for those in the know (and I know you are in the know, sunshine), is not only a temporal issue - it is a spiritual issue of great significance not only because you have frauds and monopolies, but how such crimes and social injustice affect a great swath of humanity if something goes wrong. And in 2008, oh boy, did it go wrong!

Have a nice day, sunshine. And if you have the vote in America, please make you vote count. As I said, if your country has a cold, it's the rest of the world that will be sneezing. Help us.

Pax Taufiqa.

Relevant Links - 'Inside Job' Official Website / 'Inside Job' Sony Pictures Website / Wikipedia on 'Inside Job'

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