Inside Job is a documentary about the financial collapse of 2008. This is (God help me) the second serious-minded documentary that I have reviewed in the space of a month. (The other was Waiting for Superman.)
When I started this blog I was determined that it was not going to contain anything serious–no politics, no economics, no rants about software, nothing. The last thing I want is to manage the sort of blog that collects thousands of comments all flaming each other. That’s fine if you enjoy it, but it’s not my purpose here. So I’m going to try to focus on just one question: is this movie entertaining?
The answer is yeah, possibly, in the same way that a documentary about a train wreck or the Titanic can be entertaining. Charles MacKay published Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds back in 1841 and it’s been selling steadily ever since. The Sub-Prime Bubble surely ranks there with the Tulip Mania and the South Sea Bubble as one of history’s greatest episodes of mass stupidity.
Does the movie do a good job of explaining it? It probably does about as good a job as can be done in movie format. It oversimplifies a bit and maybe takes a couple of cheap shots, but on the whole the facts speak for themselves. Still, a book can do a better job of covering this sort of thing. If you are interested, Michael Lewis’ The Big Short is probably the best so far.
Or for the latest update, see this.