Inside Job: Get Up To Speed on the Financial Crisis in Two Hours (For Free)

The ugly side of Wall Street.

If you are only going to watch one movie for the rest of your life, it should be Inside Job. Spend two hours in front of the computer watching this. It won’t cost you anything other than your time, and we have a duty to each other as voters to understand what has happened and demand accountability.

After spending the past two years studying and reading about our financial system, I thought I didn’t have anything to learn from this movie. I came away extremely impressed by the breadth and clarity of the explanation of the crisis and its causes. It even drew an link in the chain of corruption between economics professors and their policy recommendations that was news to me.

I have two gripes. First, I think the diversion into the “extracurricular activities” of the bankers, while an interesting element of the culture, is out of scope and a needless personal attack. We’re not putting the microscope on these people because they partake in cocaine and hookers. Second, the movie is incomplete without the list of which organizations’ political action committees were Obama’s top campaign contributors:

  1. University of California $1,648,685
  2. Goldman Sachs $1,013,091 (BANK)
  3. Harvard University $864,654
  4. Microsoft Corp $852,167
  5. Google Inc $814,540
  6. JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799 (BANK)
  7. Citigroup Inc $736,771 (BANK)
  8. Time Warner $624,618
  9. Sidley Austin LLP $600,298
  10. Stanford University $595,716
  11. National Amusements Inc $563,798
  12. Wilmerhale Llp $550,168
  13. Skadden, Arps et al $543,539
  14. Columbia University $541,002
  15. UBS AG $532,674 (BANK)
  16. IBM Corp $532,372
  17. General Electric $529,855
  18. US Government $517,908
  19. Morgan Stanley $512,232 (BANK)
  20. Latham & Watkins $503,295

(Source: Open Secrets)

Now you’re primed to feel the appropriate amount of outrage when it shows Obama’s inaugural address. I’m not sure whether to be mad that the bad guys are allowed to pay off the cops or that the cops were bought for a pittance compared to what individual donors gave.

Watch Inside Job for free on the Internet Archive.

(Let me know if the link isn’t working. Image courtesy of bernardoh.)