The movie - "Inside Job"

Paulie Brading

The time between Thanksgiving and the new year is my favorite time of year to see movies. Yesterday I went to one of my favorite places to watch a movie at the Varsity Theatre in Ashland. The theatre was built in the late 1930's in the art-deco style smack in the middle of town. If you haven't visited Ashland, it is a town that was chosen as one of the "Thousand Places to Visit Before You Die" in a best selling travel guide and named the #2 small arts town in America.

Fresh hot popcorn in hand, I walked the Varsity Alley to one of the two "back" theatres and sat down in the smallest of all of the 5 theatres at the Varsity. Soon after, State Representative Peter Buckley walked in with his son. We chatted about the upcoming state budget and his partnering with State Rep. Dennis Richardson on Ways and Means. Then the lights dimmed, Buckley's last words to me were, "Prepare to be depressed."

Charlie Ferguson's documentary "Inside Job" narrated by Matt Damon is a film about what really happened to bring our financial system to its knees. I found it to be a tough movie to watch because it is true. If you want to better understand what led to how 30 million people worldwide lost their jobs go see the movie. In simple terms this is a movie about making buckets of money off of buying and selling other people's money.

In much the same way Ferguson did in his film, "No End In Sight," about the run up to the Iraq war, he interviews the key players and carefully suggests that financial deregulation is how we got to this place starting in the Reagan era and continuing right into the present Obama administration. Every president has staffed his White House with women and men who have fought financial deregulation.

You will leave the movie understanding the reality of the shattering of the middle class. Most of us know Wall Street is in the White House. You may find yourself stunned by just how deeply Wall Street has acquired power in our government.

If you've seen the movie please share your comments. If you have not - you will not have a full understanding that we are not in a slump - we are in a time of a serious structural shift.

Fareed Zakaria recently wrote, "The middle class, many Americans have come to believe, is being hollowed out. I think they are right."

By the way, I left the movie seething in non-partisan anger.

Comments

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    I highly recommend the book: Winner-Take-All Politics by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. Here's a review: http://crookedtimber.org/2010/09/15/review-jacob-hacker-and-paul-pierson-winner-take-all-politics/

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    Inside Job was nothing short on an indictment. Now if only somebody could get both Congress and the White House into a showing...

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    And this post deserves at turn at the top.

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    I saw this twice. It's a complex topic and the movie covered a lot of good info I wanted to revisit...I came away angry, too. But also deeply disappointed in the knowledge that Obama has many of the same people in his circle advising him or in positions of leadership that helped to create the financial fiasco we are all paying for.

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    I think you mean "Every president has staffed his White House with women and men who have fought FOR financial deregulation" or "have fought financial regulation." I am looking forward to seeing this icture tomorrow.

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    Unfortunately, at this level of "malfeance", knowledge of the facts is irrelevant. As John Stewart told Rachel Maddow in his hour interview last month, "You called president Bush a war criminal. It may be technically correct, but it does not encourage dialogue".

    'Cause the actual destruction of our republic by a bunch of venal and superbly arrogant weanies with the collusion of the vast majority of our elected officials, is just another example of our wise leaders working in the common interest and it would only be rude to assert otherwise.

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    I haven't seen the movie nor read the book but I saw this structural change coming in time to move my 401Ks into insured bank accounts, and sold my home at the peak of the bubble knowing it was the peak. There was a moment in the past decade when I knew the "spit had hit the spam." When I found out they were securitizing mortgages, all doubts vanished. But I also knew when the GOP decided to dramatically expand our govt. debt by transferring the tax burden to the middle class with the Bush tax cuts, by financing two wars and an expensive Medicare drug program by selling bonds to the Chinese and Japanese, that we would all pay the piper.

    The problem with this post is that it says nothing new, and is simply a lot of hand-wringing about something we know is true. But the vast majority of the American public has also been complicit in this bubble debt, borrowing again and again against equity that isn't real, and believing that the stock market is some kind of gold mind that keeps on giving value from nothing without foundation. The dot-com bubble and bust should have been a warning. You can't invest money in unreal enterprises without any real economic base, and expect any kind of a legitimate return.

    What we know now is there is no security in the stock market and that Wall St. always has been and always will be a gambling casino run by crime bosses. That is nothing new. Hopefully we know it well enough now that we are not going to turn over our social security system to those same crime bosses. The Dem . President and Congress did make a start with the Financial Reg. Bill, but it's just a start. And with the likes of Elizabeth Warren setting up the Financial Consumer Protection Agency some progress is being made. But it will have to be protected as the GOP tries to take it all down. Who you vote for does make a difference.

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