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From Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (NO END IN SIGHT), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.
As he did with the occupation of Iraq in No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson shines a light on the global financial crisis in Inside Job. Accompanied by narration from Matt Damon, Ferguson begins and ends in Iceland, a flourishing country that gave American-style banking a try--and paid the price. Then he looks at the spectacular rise and cataclysmic fall of deregulation in the United States. Unlike Alex Gibney's fiscal films, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Casino Jack, Ferguson builds his narrative around dozens of players, interviewing authors, bank managers, government ministers, and even a psychotherapist, who speaks to a culture that encourages Gordon Gekko-like behavior, but the number of those who declined to comment, like Alan Greenspan, is even larger. Though the director isn't as combative as Michael Moore, he asks tough questions and elicits squirms from several participants, notably former Treasury secretary David McCormick and Columbia dean Glenn Hubbard, George W. Bush's economic adviser. Their reactions are understandable, since the borders between Wall Street, Washington, and the Ivy League dissolved years ago; it's hard to know who to trust when conflicts of interest run rampant. If Ferguson takes Reagan and Bush to task for tax cuts that benefit the wealthy, he criticizes Clinton for encouraging derivatives and Obama for failing to deliver on the promise of reform. And in the category of unlikely heroes: former governor Eliot Spitzer, who fought against fraud as New York's attorney general (he's the subject of Gibney's documentary Client 9). --Kathleen C. Fennessy
The Making of Inside Job
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Some of the topics in the movie were covered in the FRONTLINE broadcast "Inside the Meltdown" and in the FRONTLINE broadcast "The Warning." The latter exposed how Brookley Born was sabotaged by Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers--the Troika that is directly responsible for the massive fraud perpetrated by the Wall Street crowd.
It is reassuring to see that some members of Congress were competent. Senator Byron Dorgan (D. North Dakota) voted against his own party, predicting that the repeal of Glass-Steagall would lead to massive taxpayer bailouts. On 19 September 2009, Senator Dorgan was interviewed by Scott Simon on "Weekend Edition Saturday." The following is from the transcript at:
<<Sen. DORGAN: Well, I mean, it does precious little to say I told you so, but this was 10 years ago on the floor of the U.S. Senate. At the time, I said I thought it was a huge mistake and, you know, I was critical of the Clinton administration and critical of the Republicans in Congress who were pushing it.
But what I said is I think within a decade we're going to see massive taxpayer bailouts. I didn't necessarily know that for sure but it turns out my prognostication was a pretty expensive lesson. Because it made no sense that we should repeal Glass-Steagall and the protections that were put in place after the Great Depression.
And the result of that, in my judgment, was to steer this economy into the ditch and cause a significant economic wreck that's going to take us some time to get out of.
SIMON: The timing is something that intrigues me, 'cause you said this in 1999, whereas you note your party was in party.
Sen. DORGAN: Uh-huh. Well, but let me just say to you that the legislation that was passed by the Congress was called Gramm-Leach-Bliley--all three Republicans. Phil Gramm--those three Republicans led the approach. It was Republican legislation but warmly embraced by President Clinton, Secretary of Treasury Rubin and so on.
But I was one of eight U.S. senators that went to the floor of the Senate repeatedly in opposition to what they were doing. And, you know, as I said, I made some prognostications and say if we do this we're going to see massive taxpayer bailouts in the future.
And unfortunately, that has been the case.>>
"Inside Job" goes much deeper in exposing the extensive unethical conduct and shameless conflicts-of-interest of so many professors of economics, especially Frederic Mishkin, a governor at the Federal Reserve until August 2008 and now at Columbia University. According to the movie, he co-authored a fraudulent paper "The Stability of Icelandic Banks," without divulging that he had been paid $124,000 by the Iceland Chamber of Commerce to write it. In his current list of publications, he has changed the title to "The Instability ..." John Campbell, the chairman of Harvard's department of economics is left speechless--with a bewildered facial expression--when he is asked about the conflicts-of-interest of his department members.
How can anyone believe anything that is published by economists?
Inside Job clearly illustrates exactly how capitalism can go (and still is) off the rails when not properly regulated. I am not an economist, yet it seems crystal clear to me that the USA must have real, sweeping and meaningful financial (both federal and private) institution and political finance reform. It is tragic because the average working middle and lower income person will always take the brunt of these financial calamities in substantial job, income, property and monetary loss.
Two critical things MUST happen in order to prevent these things from happening again and repair the devastating losses from prior and future financial crashes. Removing ALL donated/lobbyist money out of politics and PROPERLY REGULATE financial institutions. These two, seemingly insurmountable, reforms would be a terrific start but why wait until it happens again?
It is such a simple fix, yet another fiscal crisis/collapse is most likely necessary to begin to make crucially needed reforms. It will take extreme will and battling by the American people and law makers to put back in place proper regulation, political finance reforms and accountability for the violators in this country. Without them our long term future is in jeopardy.
Matt Damon narrates this five-part series that leads up to the 2008 financial collapse, and walks us through all the wheeling and dealing that broke our financial system with the demise of the Glass-Steagal Act. In 1999, Bill Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a bank deregulation bill that swept away a Depression-era law known as Glass-Steagall.
From there, all roads lead to Rome.
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“The global economic crisis of 2008 cost tens of millions of people their savings, their jobs, and their homes. This is how it happened.Read more