Inside Job (12A)

Directed by Charles Ferguson
Written by Chad Beck and Adam Bolt
Screening at FACT from 23rd February 2011

Reviewed by Ross O’Toole

Inside Job is a documentary exploring the causes and effects of the 2008 financial crisis. Through interviews with high profile insiders, politicians, journalists and academics, the documentary focuses on the wholesale deregulation of the financial sector, which led to the unprecedented collapse of the world’s largest financial institutions.

The film exposes the dubious connections between academia and the financial industry, arguing that the latter employed the former to accredit a system which facilitated a fiscal policy so reckless, it would eventually force Alan Greenspan to admit he was, at least, ‘partially’ wrong. The complicity of the financial regulators, who failed to apply the brakes despite the warning signs, is also revealed.

The language employed by the financial industry made it difficult for most to understand the dodgy financial products it used to supercharge debt. If you are unsure of the differences between derivatives and leverages, the film breaks these down into understandable concepts. Without being at all tedious, Inside Job manages to summarize a complex set of events into an entertaining yet concise narrative.

Those critical of laissez faire economics might well wonder what all the fuss is about, but for most, Inside Job will come as a stunning insight into the extent to which the financial industry is embedded with politics; indeed, it is difficult to determine where one begins and the other ends. America may well have the best democracy money can buy, and after watching this film, one might add that it also has the worst financial system it can’t afford.

Read review of the book Debt Generation.

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Comment left by Sammy Dat on 7th March, 2011 at 16:30
Camera work: At the start of Inside Job there are some stunning images of Iceland and then of the New York skyline.
Content: Financiers are found of telling us that they create the wealth of the world. This film shows us the effects of the crash on Chinese workers who have been sacked in there millions. It thus links in the real world with the gambling casino of Western capitalism. The main problem with the content of the film is the assumption that the financial crash is just the fault of deregulation and a few rogue bankers, and that with some adjustments to the system everything would have been Hunky Dory. The fact is that capitalist system itself, which is based on greed, encourages risk taking and the exploitation of workers.