Inside Job : Nightmare on Wall Street
A chance channel surfing expedition on a Sunday morning got me hooked to this documentary on HBO today. Something that drew me towards it initially were the attributes that goes into making a world class documentary from its first shot. But eventually ended up being a piece of history that should do well in drawing a perspective of the what’s and why’s of the 2008 economic debacle, for anyone who has a knack for “money”. Which I’d like to think is all of us. Narrated beautifully by Matt Damon, “Inside Job” tells a story for what its worth without resorting to dramatics or kneeling on fabrications. The fact that its entire runtime lacked a single hint to a government propaganda, should serve it in good stead for a long time to come. If not as a guide on how to terminate a civilization; atleast as a reference on how to avert the possibility of one.
Having said that, what really stayed with me long after I’d finished watching it though, was a reality check on how ill-represented the knowledgable of the world’s strongest democracy is. I’d not be delineating from the truth if I assume the one’s we trust with our money & future are as susceptible to personal greed and are as misinformed as were the cavemen from once upon a time. The authorities we elect to represent us, to secure and protect us from the evils of the very society we live in, are the ones who are nonchalantly eating into our future, spewing out the remnants of what was rightfully ours. And then you include the prestigious institutes that shapes the great minds that will lead us tomorrow like Columbia University & Harvard into the mix and what you have is “fear” instilled in your minds, almost bordering on depression. While the economic downturn of the late last decade, was a bastard child of some “designer suit clad” but “shot sighted” go getters of the far west, the global economy of today ensured that its impact was far and wide spread. Anyone who buys and sells to another nation irrespective of bi-lateral trade policies is fated to be a part of it’s collateral damage. As such everyone I know or work with, had borne some degree of brunt from this downturn. Point in case is me. I work in a developing nation in the South East of Asia for a company that headquarters in California and is the world’s biggest IT company. Go figure
The feature starts with a panoramic shot of Iceland and its lush green covered undulating landscape that suddenly cuts into a few shots of it’s man made concrete infrastructure which I think was intended to represent progress and development of an urban society. It’s a short retrospection at what transpired in this Nordic European island nation in the North Atlantic ocean that is strategically placed between North American and the rest of Europe around the same time. It involves the collapsing of all three of their major commercial banks and their inability to refinance their short term debts. They eventually were dependent of the run ins from Netherlands & the UK. Relative to the size of its economy, Iceland’s banking collapse is the largest suffered by any country in economic history. In the documentary, this piece works as a preamble to the main chapters that follows right after. A large group of men from Wall Street across its food chain, twisted and turned the laws of finance to yield immediate and exponentially high results that were mutually exclusive and with almost no regard to morality or limitations. It gave way to a world of illusion, which under the garb of rapid financial progress was in reality infested with lies, deceit and cover ups for the common men which sadly was to be only found out after much destruction to the system itself. So much so that, even the most revered thinker of the trade cannot put a timeline to its complete recovery. My bet is, no one can even tell its true meaning anymore. The then Bush government’s initial buying into the same school of thought as those greased mouth scavengers is as much revelation as realizing that the one in power i.e. Obama has not been able to to extract much result from all the promises of his presidential campaign that got him elected. I mean what else do you expect when the apples of discord who deserved to be trialed for treason are appointed heads of initiatives that are formed to eradicate the very evils they inculcated in the first place. That in gist is what “Inside Job” is all about. It is told through interviews of the who’s who from the various factions within the financial world that calls the shots, sometimes at the expense of our tomorrow.
Some pundits would make us believe that although the tax paying men suffered a great deal, the final storm was averted and that we should thank a handful of them for their disaster recovery plans. A movie named “Too Big To Fail” that followed right after in HBO, tends to elaborate on that notion. But for both reasons technical and factual, “Inside Job” is a documentary heads and limbs above any that I have seen in the past few years, including HBO’s above original feature. For a piece of history that is both compelling in its taut execution and for its relevance to our future and that of our children, watch “Inside Job”.
Listen more from the makers about “Inside Job”