Inside Job: a disturbing, sober look at how greed almost brought down the American and global economies.

Inside Job is a movie that won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2010.  It is written, produced and directed by Charles Ferguson.  It is narrated by Matt Damon.  It is a movie that every American should see.  For people who are skeptical of these types of “expose’”documentaries, I will say this: even if the movie is only 20% accurate, our country is in trouble and everyone should be outraged.

Inside Job analyzes the financial crisis of 2008 that almost caused a second Great Depression in America and negatively affected the global economy as well.  The movie is broken up into parts, beginning with the history of deregulating financial institutions to today, where some of the people involved in the crisis are still key players in Wall Street, the government, and top universities.  Inside Job goes to great lengths to explain to the average viewer exactly what happened and the sequence in which it happened, including subprime home loans, predatory and aggressive lending practices, derivatives, credit swaps, and the parts each financial institution played.

Sounds confusing?  It is.  You may need to hang in there to follow what is going on or watch it multiple times before wrapping your head around what happened.  That fact alone should anger the viewer; if NO ONE can accurately explain the obscenely complex accounting that accompanied these derivatives and swaps, then why in the hell were they not regulated?

A positive aspect of the film is the lack of sensationalism in it.  If you are expecting Michael Moore or Morgan Spurlock sarcasm or slick pop culture references, this is not the movie for you.  Inside Job is about a very serious topic and the movie treats it as such.  It is made up mostly of interviews, media clips, and even charts and graphs to help the viewer visualize exactly how the financial institutions processed the transactions.

There is also very little human interest aspects, save for a non English-speaking woman at the end who briefly describes (in Spanish, with no subtitles) her home buying experience and a worker in China who is aware that if the American economy fails, so will the Chinese workforce.   We don’t see families crying over foreclosed homes or interviews with ‘regular’ people who were affected by the dire situation.  We don’t need to.

The movie also does an amazing job of staying neutral, but it was obviously not a difficult task for the filmmakers.  Watching how every administration was involved, whether Democrat or Republican, will be very difficult for some who are loyal to a certain party.  It is amazing how well the boys at the top get along, and greed makes for very strange bedfellows.

This documentary is a must-see.  Watch it with an open mind, pay close attention, and be prepared to be shocked.  Then figure out what you can do to change things, because something has to change, and the days of depending on a reliable government are over.