Inside Job

Media Type: Film Clips Topic: Economic Crisis, The Business Cycle, Monetary & Fiscal Policy, International Trade & Finance

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Matt Damon narrates this documentary that criticizes Wall Street and Washington for the economic crisis. Inside Job explores the causes of the crisis by focusing primarily on deregulation and the incentive structures that led to excessive risk-taking. The film shines when it uses a series of animated figures to explain the process of securitization and the crucial role that it played in the sub-prime market and the financial crisis.

The film is also excellent at describing how deregulation of the banking industry, which began under Reagan, accelerated through G.W. Bush. The biggest surprise occurs when we learn that Barack Obama appointed many of the worst offenders of the crisis to key roles in Washington and reappointed Ben Bernanke as Fed Chair. The movie then makes the case that significant reform legislation is still missing. Given the ties of both political parties to the financial sector, how unlikely it is that real changes in the financial industry will materialize?

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