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It's Hard Out Here for a Banker

Posted by: Dan Beucke on October 21, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Bad enough there’s a howling mob outside your bedroom window, or that those protesters are messing with your bid for an 18th-Century soup plate. Now bankers are being forced to relive the financial crisis. Banks just turned in their worst quarter of investment banking and trading results since 2008. And today theaters start showing Margin Call, which sounds from the reviews like the smartest movie yet about the banking collapse. It’s a rare film that conveys the sense of humans overwhelmed by markets, gets the financial details right, and is actually fun to watch. Says The Atlantic’s Christopher Orr:

Among the many virtues of Margin Call, the engrossing debut feature by writer-director J.C. Chandor, is its appreciation of this economic implacability. Unlike the second Wall Street (or, for that matter, the first), the movie understands that financial markets aren’t merely tools to be wielded for purposes nefarious or benign, but vast and evolving entities in their own right, often inscrutable even to their purported custodians. Chandor’s film is not a tale of the plots and counterplots of conniving bankers. It is a disaster movie, in which even the Masters of the Universe are running for their lives.

Reader Comments

Pat McGroin

October 22, 2011 6:58 PM

"It is a disaster movie, in which even the Masters of the Universe are running for their lives."

LOL. Good thing the real-life "Masters of the Universe" paid in advance for ownership of the political system. I doubt that they were ever really "running for their lives."

Even if every large bank in the country had gone kaput, these guys have massive savings and assets stashed all around the world. There was never going to be a "hard landing" for any of the banksters.


October 24, 2011 12:02 AM

Many years ago, the conservative commentator and writer George Will made a brilliant observation:
"Everyone is at least half conservative, because no one likes to pay taxes."
"What we have now is a system of privatized gains but socialized losses. If you win you keep the winnings, but if you lose, the losses are socialized on the economy."
THIS is the critical heart of the matter. The banks and large brokerages are protected, while their customers must suffer every blast of financial storm hitting the economy. This is simply NOT a sustainable situation. The rich will be protected while the culture collapses around them.


March 14, 2012 9:23 AM

I agree with the previous comment. The rich always have all the advantages.
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March 31, 2012 9:10 PM

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"The Wealth Debate" is a running discussion of wealth, poverty, the economy and income inequality in the U.S. and the world. It was started shortly after the Occupy Wall Street movement sparked a global protest about the fallout from the financial crisis and money in politics. You can reach the editors, Dan Beucke and Mark Gimein, by email, or follow BloombergNow on Twitter to keep up with posts.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the author and or commentators, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

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