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The Inside Job is one of the year's most powerful and fascinating documentaries. The film portrays a public betrayal and an unpunished crime in society. Essentially, it investigates the circumstances that lead up to the 2008 financial crisis. It involves an exploration of the institutional corruption that still persists in society, as well as its effects on the capital markets. The film seeks to clarify the connection that remains between the financial and environmental legal systems developed in the United States of America and the 2008 financial crisis, which threatened to derail the economies of many nations. The film is divided into five parts and each of the parts addresses a specific element in the given financial crisis. In the first part, the documentary analyzes the events that led to the crisis. The film establishes that the deregulation of financial services in the 80s may have been responsible for the occurrence of the crisis (Ferguson). The deregulation allowed the banks increased freedom to use their client’s deposits for investment purposes and further encouraged the extension of high-risk loans to high-risk clients which significantly encouraged rapacious lending. The credit default swap (CDS) further derailed the financial market given that they could be used to protect against the collaterized debt obligations (CDOs) which encouraged even more lending by the investors (Ferguson). This analysis comprises the second part of the film which captures the influence that the biggest banks in America had in the manifestation of the financial crisis.
Alternatively, the third part of the documentary documents the crisis as it happened. To begin with, the collapse of the CDOs market marked the beginning of the crisis given that investment banks were not able to recover the sumptuous loans that they had extended to the investors. This circumstance was a consequence of the protection that the investors were allowed by the credit default swap (CDS) (Ferguson). The financial crisis led to the crumbling of several investment banks. Some of the affected financial institutions included Fannie Mae and Lehman Brothers. Overall, the crisis was a result of the expensive mortgages that were sold to clients who could not truly afford them. Most of the banks were aware that some of their clients could not afford the given loans but still extended them the loans given that they would still be able to recover the loans regardless of the client’s default.
The fourth segment of the film attempts to establish the responsibilities and accountability of the affected companies’ executives. It predicates that all of these executives were able to retain their wealth. Similarly, in the aftermath of the crisis, several consulting firms were recruited to analyze the efficiency of the reforms. Nonetheless, the majority of the economists that were involved in the process had conflicted interests since some of them also acted as consultants to the investment firms that had been affected by the crisis (Ferguson). Lastly, the film explored the implications of the financial crisis. It details that the reforms in place are still not adequate to prevent another economic crunch.
Conclusively, Inside Job provides an insight into financial crisis of 2008. In my opinion, the film fails to succinctly communicate the details of the events to the common man. It would have been more effective if the viewer had first been introduced to the definitions of the different economical terms that were used in the film. Similarly, the film reflects a partisan stance given that it does not explore the benefits of the reforms. Nonetheless, it provides a theory which attempts to explain the event and thus a foundation of analysis.
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Inside Job. Dir. Charles Ferguson. Prods. Audrey Marrs and Charles Ferguson. Sony Pictures Classics , 2010.
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