Inside Job is a very clear documentary on the financial crisis, currently playing at Boulder’s Century Theater in the 29th St. Mall. Charles Ferguson, who produced and directed this film, previously made No End in Sight. This new film is much better film-making, with Matt Damon as a compelling narrator.
The film begins with the demise of Iceland’s economy. No technical knowledge is needed to follow the plot and understand how the economy of Iceland imploded. Because Iceland is a small country, one does not get lost in counting trillions of dollars to try to figure out what happened or just how bad it was.
This film makes clear, as others have not, that the public wound up with the bill for the irresponsible speculations of the major banks in their country. The public’s debt was 3 times the size of the entire national economy. The public, not the banks, was stuck with the debt because financial speculators manipulated the politicians to make the public the guarantors of the banks’ debt before the implosion occurred.
The film displays the international stage of repeated financial speculation and exploitation, but keeps its ultimate focus on Wall Street’s control of the U.S. government. Obamaholics may not like this film, but perhaps it may reach them. A sequence of photographs, in which Obama literally takes Bush’s place in the same rogue line-up, makes the message of continuity unmistakably clear. Well, to most of us, anyway.
The film concludes with a unique exposé of American economics professors who wrote the policy books legitimating the outrageous plunder of the world’s economy. Watch the experts squirm and whine on camera when confronted by the payoffs they took. This alone is worth the price of admission.