The Big Short

Posted on December 24, 2015


The Big Short – How can you take a book about the dull mortgage banking industry’s unscrupulous practices and turn it into an entertaining movie? You pair director Adam McKay with a slew of top actors, and use people like Chef Anthony Bourdain to describe collateralized debt obligation aka CDOs by comparing them to three-day-old fish used in a stew. It’s a complicated subject – subprime lending, hedge funds, ISDA – that’s explained here about as clearly as you can, and it’s done with humor.

Christian Bale is socially inept, mathematical genius Dr. Michael Burry who understands that the housing boom in the early 2000s is really a bubble and decides to profit off the stupidity and greed of the bankers. Steve Carell plays Mark Baum who is so righteously angry that no one can see how all these mortgage backed securities and other investments are based on zip, and the players don’t care. Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo, Selena Gomez, gorgeous Margot Robbie, Jeremy Strong, et al – who could ask for anything more.

The sad thing about this whole debacle is that none of those involved have had to pay in any form, none went to prison, and most ended up with bonuses. The very saddest thing though is that we haven’t learned anything and it’s getting ready to happen again.