March 2016

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2016

For decades now we’ve seen enough films depicting the goings-on in the world of finance that you’d be forgiven for thinking that finance is an actual film genre. Many are based on true stories, with the global financial crisis of 2007/08 providing inspiration for a number of films which have hit our screens in recent years.

The popularity of these types of films is driven by the audience’s appetite for storylines about the super-rich, their debauched lifestyles, risk taking and greed. The hottest film of this type at the moment is The Big Short. Nominated for 5 Oscars, and winning one. the movie is based on the non-fiction book ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ by Michael Lewis, bestselling author of Flash Boys and Moneyball.

This is the true story of a small number of investors who discovered that the mortgage-backed securities market in the US was teetering on the edge of an abyss. These investors took advantage of the flawed system and the bank’s greed and corruption by betting against the possible collapse of the market. Whilst successful in their decisions, none of these men could really begin to understand the far-reaching consequences to the average person, and the economy as a whole, when the bubble finally burst.

Starring some of the biggest names in cinema, The Big Short is big on talent with Christian Bale starring as neurologist-turned-hedge fund manager Michael Burry and Steve Carell playing the role of Mark Baum (based on real-life Steve Eisman); both turning out stellar performances. The rest of the cast also give noteworthy performances, with the use of clever cameos to explain some of the more complex issues. Whilst clearly a serious topic, the film approaches the matter with wit and humour while at the same time giving a factually accurate depiction of the subprime mortgage crisis.

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