Friday, 22 June 2012

Too Big To Flail

So back at the beginning of the recession, all the banks got monies. This is the movie of the events leading up to that. It had already started, and this is the tale of the big leaders of the banks finding out how hosed they were and of the Treasury chief trying to keep everything running.

This movie tries to put a human face to the picture, so we see the people involved and the decisions they made rather than hear about it via other people, however clearly the script writers knew they weren't going to get away it that too easily. (And that the story wouldn't have been this narratively nice.) There are some telling quotes, such as why didn't anyone try to stop the banks? "We were making too much money." And a later one about how the US Treasury couldn't put restrictions on the use of the money because then the banks wouldn't take it... what? It even ends on, basically, 'they'll do the right thing with the money, right?'

Depressingly, I can see this happening all over again if the finance sector collapses once more. [And unless they really did learn their lesson, they are probably still back to the incomprehensible (I don't understand it) practices of second derivatives and what not.] Having set precedent, they'll just get more money from the government. The end of the film states that some of the banks have paid back the loans. But not all? And certainly it wasn't like the money was used properly.

But you can certainly see the dilemma of 'if we don't bail out, then ordinary people lose terribly' vs 'they brought them on themselves, tough'. I would hope that next time they have the balls to let the finance sector collapse... but then I'm not in America, and if it happened over here, I'd want my money safe too.

Anyway, some great performances, especially from William Hurt. So from that point of view, this is a good movie to watch. But don't expect to want to congratulate anyone after seeing what happened.


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