500 Days Of Film Reviews Inside Job And Finds A Fascinating And Compelling Documentary About The Global Financial Crisis
In 2008, the world experienced a financial crisis that almost caused a global financial collapse.
The crisis cost millions of people their jobs, their homes and saw the demise of banking institutions once thought too big to fail.
Inside Job tells the astonishing story behind the global financial crisis and interviews an impressive number of the key figures involved (and it is just as interesting to note who didn’t wish to be interviewed).
Is It Any Good?
So much has been said about the global financial crisis that I did wonder if I had left it too late to watch Inside Job.
Of course, had I seen the film when it was released, I think its impact would have been greater. However, this extremely impressive documentary does not feel dated. The story that is tells remains both relevant and astounding.
My first thought while watching Inside Job was that it does a really good job of explaining the events that led up to the financial crisis and describing the complex financial instruments involved.
There is a little bit of generalisation - mainly for dramatic purposes. For example, derivatives are described as monstrous almost in and of themselves. For me, the issue is more with how they were used - many for a purpose that was never intended.
Inside Job presents many startling facts.
The best part, for me, was when the academics - who thought that they were being interviewed in order to explain the crisis - suddenly found themselves in the line of fire for enabling it.
Indeed, the incestuous relationship between governments, financial institutions and academia is extremely well developed in the film and, frankly, pretty terrifying.
The other point that the film makes really well is in relation to regulation. The financial sector has always been resistant to regulation - preferring to self regulate (of course). The financial regulatory bodies always several steps behind the innovation in financial products.
Inside Job explains that whenever individual financial regulators started to understand the financial tools they were tempted away from their regulatory roles by better paid positions in the banks themselves.
The film ends with a call to arms of sorts. However, this felt depressingly hollow to me as, despite the obvious amounts of corruption and fraud involved at the heart of the crisis, it is hard to see how things can change for the better in the future.
I am wondering if I enjoyed this film more because I used to be derivatives journalist and I covered the credit derivatives market.
I left the industry long before the crisis but even then I recognised how complex the financial instruments were becoming and how challenging they were to regulate.
It was amazing for me to see people I worked with up on the screen describing the events.