THE BIG SHORT – A REVIEW

“The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.”

The Big Short opens nationwide today. But it happened to have one showing last night at a theater near me. My youngest son and I hopped in the car and went to see it. I loved the book by Michael Lewis. The cast assembled for the movie was top notch, but having the director of Anchorman and Talledaga Nights handle a subject matter like high finance seemed odd.

The choice of Adam McKay as director turned out to be brilliant. The question was how do you make a movie about the housing market, mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, collateralized debt swaps, and synthetic CDOs interesting for the average person. He succeeded beyond all expectations.

Interweaving pop culture icons, music, symbols of materialism, and unforgettable characters, McKay has created a masterpiece about the greed, stupidity, hubris, and arrogance of Wall Street bankers gone wild. He captures the idiocy and complete capture of the rating agencies (S&P, Moodys). He reveals the ineptitude and dysfunction of the SEC, where the goal of these regulators was to get a high paying job with banks they were supposed to regulate. He skewers the faux financial journalists at the Wall Street Journal who didn’t want to rock the boat with the truth about the greatest fraud ever committed.

What makes the movie great are the characters, their motivations, their frustrations, their anger at a warped demented system, and ultimately their hollow victory when the entire edifice of fraud came crashing down on the heads of honest hard working Americans. The movie does not glorify the men that ended up making billions from the demise of the housing bubble. But it clearly defines the real bad guys.

Steve Carell plays Mark Baum (based on the real life character Steve Eisman). He’s the kind of prick who would fit in perfectly on TBP. He is abrasively hysterical with his foul mouthed commentary and insults to authority. He is the heart and soul of the movie. You feel his pain throughout. Carrell should win an Academy Award for his performance.

Christian Bale’s quirky performance as one eyed Dr. Michael Burry, whose Asberger’s Syndrome actually allowed him to focus on the minutia and discover the fraud before everyone else, is top notch. Ryan Goseling is hysterical in his role as the narrator of the story. Brad Pitt plays a supporting role, but does it with his usual class.

Ultimately, it is a highly entertaining movie with the right moral overtone, despite non-stop profanity that captures the true nature of Wall Street traders. This is a dangerous movie for Wall Street, the government, and the establishment in general. They count on the complexity of Wall Street to confuse the average person and make their eyes glaze over. That makes it easier for them to keep committing fraud and harvesting the nation’s wealth.

This movie cuts through the crap and reveals those in power to be corrupt, greedy weasels who aren’t really as smart as they want you to think they are. The finale of the movie is sobering and infuriating. After unequivocally proving that Wall Street bankers, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve, Congress, the SEC, and the mainstream media, destroyed the global financial system, put tens of millions out of work, got six million people tossed from their homes, and created the worst crisis since the Great Depression, the filmmakers are left to provide the depressing conclusion.

No bankers went to jail. The Too Big To Fail banks were not broken up – they were bailed out by the American taxpayers. They actually got bigger. Their profits have reached new heights, while the average family has seen their income fall. Wall Street is paying out record bonuses, while 46 million people are on food stamps. Wall Street and their lackeys at the Federal Reserve call the shots in this country. They don’t give a fuck about you. And they’re doing it again.

Every American should see this movie and get fucking pissed off. The theater was deathly silent at the end of the movie. The audience was stunned by the fact that the criminals on Wall Street got away with the crime of the century, and they’re still on the loose. I had a great discussion with my 16 year old son on the way home. At least there is one millennial who understands how bad his generation is getting screwed.

Merry Fucking Christmas America from a Wall Street banker

46 thoughts on “THE BIG SHORT – A REVIEW”

  1. Hey Admin, I started out with Adam McKay at the Comedy Factory Outlet in Philly as open mic’ers. He was a big shambling doofus but when he became a writer for SNL he took off. I’m glad to see he’s made a success out of it.

    Good for him, I’ll take your advice and go see it.

     
  2. Maybe….the film might inform me of something new. Obama could have ensured that these fucks went on trial, but why should he; after all, he made the healthcare insurance companies get wealthier while the citizens got screwed and he rode the QE and ZIRP train to make the Big Corp’s wealthier while screwing the average citizen.

    And yet, we have some moron liberal voters (some are commenters on TBP) that think he has done a great job as Liar-in-Chief, Divider-in-Chief, Racist-in-Chief, and Mooooslim-in-Chief.

     
  3. My missus packed my bags, and as I walked out the front door. She screamed: “I wish you a slow and painful death, you bastard!” I replied: “Oh, so now you want me to stay!”

     
  4. It is a must see on our list. Figured it out back in 2008 with the collapse then, the elitist have been telegraphing every move that they will make. People were disappointed with their portfolios back then and congress said they were going to do something about it, well they did, they created a bigger cess pool. As Ann Barnhart says, “Remember, the only thing that actually WANTS to be in a cesspit is a PIECE OF SHIT!”

     
    1. Opening quote of the movie:

      “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

       
  5. But…but…Obama is for the poor, for black people, for the hungry and forgotten! Hillary is too! I know because they say so!

    “No bankers went to jail. The Too Big To Fail banks were not broken up – they were bailed out by the American taxpayers. They actually got bigger. Their profits have reached new heights, while the average family has seen their income fall. Wall Street is paying out record bonuses, while 46 million people are on food stamps. Wall Street and their lackeys at the Federal Reserve call the shots in this country. They don’t give a fuck about you. And they’re doing it again.”

    LOLOLOL!

     
  6. James 5King James Version (KJV)

    5 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

    2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

    3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

    4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

    5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

    6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.James 5King James Version (KJV)

    5 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

    2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

    3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

    4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

    5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

    6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuOfyA1bh2M

     
  7. “When a government is dependent on bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”

    -Napoleon Bonaparte

    The bankers support both sides of our electoral system and both sides of most wars. Once you know that, history becomes very simple.

    -Me

     
  8. What difference does it make?

    From the land of fantasy and make believe. Hollywood.

    The vast majority of the great unwashed masses that see this movie, will leave the theater in a state of disappointment. Where was the action? There was no stuff blown up or shot up? What happened to the super hero’s?

    The ones who NEED to see this movies and GET IT – are in the Star Wars line.

     
  9. “Everyone should get a pre-tied noose when they leave the theater as a party-favor.” “Yojimbo”
    A real good idea – especially if you want to be useless – or wrong-headed.
    A better idea is to learn lessons of American Founders; there might be a handful (maybe two) of Americans who are vaguely aware of such lessons.
    You see, practically no one has knowledge of WHAT Founders did; they don’t even know many of the rights / powers won by the Revolution.
    Take, for example, one: the right of consent and two, the right to withhold taxes until the government redresses grievances.
    One: American Founders repeatedly declared that “no man is obligated to obey any law or pay any tax unless he has given consent to it”. Did they mean this literally? Of course they did. From the first English settlement to the Revolution this was how affairs of the colonies were managed. Every “law” and every “tax” had its origin in contracts between colonial assemblies and those who petitioned for redress of grievances. The terms of the contract were sometimes referred to as “laws” of the contract while its money payments were treated as “taxes”. And only petitioners were obligated to obey such “laws” and pay such “taxes”. When redress was completed, related “laws” and “taxes” expired. (http://redressone.wordpress.com/)
    This right of consent has powerful implications today: it means that only those who petition (submit proposed legislation to Congress) are obligated to obey terms (“laws”) and needed money payments “(taxes)” related to such petition.
    Two: In 1774, the Continental Congress issued the “Appeal to the Inhabitants of Quebec”. Its purpose was to encourage Canadians to join the American Revolution. This Appeal, listed three grand rights Americans intended to win with the Revolution: a) consent, b) redress before taxes and c) due process of law. Americans have heard of one and three and, of course, have no or little understanding of either. As to the second right, “redress before taxes”, it has almost been completely erased from our history and law books.
    The most comprehensive treatment of this right of “redress before taxes” is contained in my book, The Lost Right, edition 3.5. (http://redressone.wordpress.com/the-lost-right/)
    There, in four paragraphs I conveyed to you more real history than you learned in 12 years of elementary and high schools, and 4-6 years of university indoctrination. You won’t learn this and other lessons from professors, or judges, or lawyers; the first two depend on continued grievances for their pensions, the third never learned such history, or law.

     
  10. sorry hate to be the spoiler but anyone that pays a dime for this garbage is an idiot. Havent figured out that Hollywood. is always the contracted Mis direction Mechanism?? See JFK.. Who owns Hollywood? Who owns the criminal bank cartel? Get it? No no. First the mere fact that Lewis even shows up on CNBC is criminal in itself. . He jump ship two years ago when he played the fiddle in the “oh FBI gonna get the HFT firms” crap. How that work out?? Yea thought so. I have ZERO respect for him and neither should you. If Lewis or anyone else wants to the tell the True crime, the crime a thousand times greater than the 2008 bailout then focus on the 4.Trillion in QE after. and how it all ties into 9-11..of which. both events were essentially a Coupe of the USSA by the joos. . Read the book many times and his premise that the crisis was “accidental” misses the mark. All part of a much greater plan than most can comprehend and the tentacles are still very evident today

     
  11. Kaiserosa,

    I understand your frustration. However, Lewis told us plenty,

    and he shouldn’t have to kick the bucket for it as others have.

    So, just thank him okay? I don’t want you to get more upset

    than you are…but that 4 trillion? It is closer to 40. We are

    depending on the “news” for figures/numbers. We may

    see the”books” one day, probably not. There are about 15

    trillion in private accounts of the little people. That will go

    next. Go and see the movie, enjoy it. Everybody needs a break.

    It is what it is.

     
  12. I saw this a few hours ago in central Mass. The theater was only about 1/3 full which I hope was just the fact of all the dipshits being drawn like iron filings to a magnet to the new star wars movie.

    I thought it was very good. I agree with admin that it did a good job of making intentionally byzantine financial constructs understandable. I thought it fell down just a little in not explaining a little better what was going on as things were falling apart in 2008 and the mention of “immigrants” twice at the very end was a bizarre politically correct tack on. I never once, not once, heard or read anyone in 2007-9, as things were falling apart, blame immigrants for it all. No one did. Those two mentions were anachronistic.

     
  13. Check out McKay’s The Other Guys…you’ll better understand the reason he directed this one.

    On Netflix last time I looked. Hilarious comedy…and gets into to fraud of the bankers and govt too.

     
  14. Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers’ ability to repay, making loans with deceptive “teaser” rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

    Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.

    Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York’s, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.

    What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is a resounding no.

    Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.

    Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers.

    In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

    But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.

    Throughout our battles with the OCC and the banks, the mantra of the banks and their defenders was that efforts to curb predatory lending would deny access to credit to the very consumers the states were trying to protect. But the curbs we sought on predatory and unfair lending would have in no way jeopardized access to the legitimate credit market for appropriately priced loans. Instead, they would have stopped the scourge of predatory lending practices that have resulted in countless thousands of consumers losing their homes and put our economy in a precarious position.

    When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.

     
  15. Before he was first elected Obama said “I will hold wall street accountable.” Another BIG empty hollow promise (one of hundreds). If you want some desert for your ‘The Big Short’ movie, read Lewis’ FLASH BOYS to see how you are being additionally corn holed and how the wealth of America citizens (those that still have some) is being slowly strip mined by HIGH FREQUENCY ALGORITHM TRADING. As my good friend says to me “working man don’t stand a chance.”

     
  16. Let’s keep this simple. The ONLY reason this continues is because of the “Average American.”
    That’s right. It’s YOUR FAULT for PARTICIPATING in their CORRUPT system. Want to get rich? Gamble in THEIR stock market where you have absolutely zero control. They will steal you blind, steal your pensions and mutual funds, steal your savings, take your homes, make laws that protect them like UNFORGIVABLE student loans, Dodd/Frank declaring your bank deposits are not really yours, corrupt judges allowing corrupt banks to foreclose on peoples homes even though the banks initiated fraudulent mortgage documents, people being sued for credit card debt that doesn’t even exist….Do I need to go on? You are a bunch of dumb asses. Sheep being led to the slaughter.

    IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT that this is happening. The solution is NON-COMPLIANCE. Remember that.

    I WILL NOT COMPLY….PERIOD. I CHOOSE to opt out of their corrupt system. You should too.

     
  17. “I WILL NOT COMPLY….PERIOD. I CHOOSE to opt out of their corrupt system. ” —- Red Forman

    But ….. but …..

    …….. you have a computer so you added to the riches of some tech company. You’re paying for access to the internet. Whether you rent or own, I assume you live on a dwelling, and not a teepee. You pay utilities. I assume you eat. I assume you wash your clothes. Do you have a horse and buggy, or an automobile? Does it need fuel? Insurance? Tires. Maintenance? Do you run around naked, or do you wear clothes, and shoes? Just those examples equals a shitload of enriching someone, and being part of the system. How do you do it?

    Hey! Let me be clear. I am NOT criticizing you. I think you’re idea is a noble one. But … but … damned difficult to live in practice.

    I wouldn’t mind living like this (below) at all, but Ms Freud will not even entertain the thought.

    58f3f0fad4676de180c73629502c30e8.jpg

     
  18. doh!

    No problem with reduced consumption. I practice it daily, and for years.

    But, it seems Red Forman is blaming ME (and, you) for the mess America is in, and it seems he is advocating to far more than just reduced consumption. He seems to be advocating a complete withdrawal from the system. And, I don’t see how that’s possible.

     
  19. When I was a young lad, 20% down was standard, then 15, 10, 5, 3, then the NINJA loans…No Income No Job or Assets.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    johngalt.gif

     
  20. @Stucky… no kidding! I came over to see what your comment was that got a thumbs down and you are so right! WTF?

    I went to the PC downstairs to offset it.

    I saw this image on Photobucket and thought of you… it is my Festivus gift to you.

    Stucky_zpskqc0msox.jpg

     
  21. Everyone should earn just enough to exist w/o a scrap left over for the looting class Paying extortion to people like Obama and Pelosi in order to live = fuq them.

     
  22. There are billions of people who are not plugged into the American system; they live elsewhere, though, and are generally plugged in to a different “nation”.

    You can generate your own electricity; get a generator, and a transfer switch. It would be expensive, but possible; you could get a natural gas generator, and owe only the natural gas bill while getting hot water, electricity and heat for your house. Decide if you want to make the investments to do this ( I will at least try to in the next house; this one is too small / urban to be viable).

    You can start with gardening, and learn to grow your own food. This will probably require ten acres or so, to make a decent crop come in for a family of four, and practice crop rotation. Chickens and rabbits take little room, and a running stream across your property would be a great help / bonus.

    You will need some significant capital; a house, land, and equipment will run to tens of thousands of dollars. If you choose to make it your priority, you can escape nearly all of the “system”.

    But you will not be rich. You will have to figure out health care (although farming and gardening are tremendously healthy exercise). You will have to put up with small-minded people questioning, and small-minded bureaucrats questioning and blocking, every action you take. But it can be done.

    Are you willing to do it?

     
  23. Maggie

    Sweeeeeeet!! The resemblance is uncanny! Saved that one to my hard drive.

    You have ALWAYS been kind and supportive of my efforts. Very very much appreciated. Thank you.

    Merry Christmas to you and Nick and the boys.

     
  24. It is shaping up to be a wonderful Christmas here in Narnia, where the bunnies whisper my name and the chickens lay butter flavored eggs.

     
  25. Stucky, you should ‘dump’ Mrs. Freud and go get that little cabin in the woods. With the 450K you’ll get from selling your urban ghetto in the suburban slums you’ll have plenty of cash left over by not having to support your high maintanance former spouse.

     
  26. Admin, great review of a movie I’d like to see , but probably won’t unless it’s on Netflix and even then not likely since I currently don’t have enough bandwidth to view online movies , but still the fact that someone went to the trouble and expanse of trying to get a little truth out to the mindless masses is encouraging to say the least.
    Recently while reading Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia , I was reflecting on how fortunate modern people , in particular citizens of Western democracies , are to have alternative sources of information, in which not only debunk the propaganda of mainstream media , but present the truth in all it shining glory, because that’s what the truth is glorious. Regardless how ugly the truth is, it will always serve a higher purpose than the lie.

    Orwell and the people of his generation were not so fortunate as we of the modern age of light speed online communication. They had only the press, be it controlled by the Left or the Right is was still controlled and as such it’s purpose was more skewed towards propaganda, than truth.

    So,on this Christmas morn we should all thank the Lord above for access to online sites such as TBP from which to glean kernels of truth. Without truth , there can be no light. and that’s what we ‘re seeking right? The light of truth?

    Thanks to modern technology , we live in time unique in all history. A time when anyone with the desire to pursue truth can find it with a few clicks of the keyboard .We should all cherish and protect this access to the light of truth , because once lost, I doubt it can ever be regained.

    Merry Christmas to my TBP family , one and all…even the controlled opposition.

    https://youtu.be/wTu00FCLgPs

     
  27. Just got back from seeing The Big Short. Yup …. terrific movie!

    We did our normal 2-fer-1 thievery and saw a 2nd movie, Joy, — based on the true story of Joy Mangano, who built a $150 million dollar a year empire via QVC and HSN. Her main products were the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers. The lead is played by Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games).

    Only got 65% on rottentomatoes, but we really liked the film a lot. We both thought it was inspirational and thought provoking.

     
  28. Sorry Adam, you only got it half right. The trouble with Hollywood is that they cannot make a good movie without leaving out half the facts to get a good storyline. That’s the reason you loved the movie, really. Read anonymous above re the Bush administration. That’s the other half of the story. And Wall Street couldn’t have done it without them. Unfortunately, way too complicated for a screenplay. Also unfortunately, moviegoers will leave the theatre thinking it’s the whole truth. Far from it. But it was a great book.

     
  29. I saw it last night and thought it was great.

    And then I read the anonymous comment and realized that while most Americans – the ones inline for Star Wars – might have an inkling of what The Big Short was about none of them would have a clue that ALL FIFTY States attorneys general saw the problem, attempted to help and were undermined by the Feds.

    The fix truly was in – and apparently from the get-go.

    “The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.”

     
  30. The movie was great. Should be required watching for all Americans and especially students. Everyone needs to understand how we were fucked by the Banks, and the bastards didn’t pay any price for their crimes.

     
  31. I finally made my way to The Big Short today. There was a decent crowd for a Tuesday afternoon. I thought it was extremely well done and found it somewhere between engrossing and gripping with some laughs thrown in.

    I was reminded of 2008 when my son-in-law worked for a guy who cleaned out foreclosed homes. It was amazing how many people walked out leaving just about everything behind including clothes hanging in the closets and toys in the kids’ rooms. It was like the owners literally ran away from an intolerable situation. (This was in the vast ‘burbs of the Inland Empire.)

     

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