I watched Inside Job the other day, the Acadamy Award winning 2010 documentary about the 2008 financial meltdown, directed by Charles Ferguson, and had a bit of a meltdown of my own. As the blurb to the posted interview with Ferguson states “the film makes the powerful case that an out-of-control finance industry took advantage of a deregulated atmosphere and purposely sought to get rich at the expense of others.” …”Ferguson crossed the globe to find proof that the financial industry intentionally engaged in unethical behavior. His gripping account of the global recession is sure to evoke feelings of disgust, anger, and concern that this all may happen again unless our regulatory system is changed.” That I can confirm. The thing is that nobody minds if banks get rich, as long as everyone else does ok. But they don’t, clearly, and the banks have become more powerful than ever, through the consolidation after the crisis. And Ferguson shows that unfortunately President Obama hasn’t done much to resolve the real issues. (despite Dodd Frank he gives Obama a C-minus overall).
Charles Ferguson is an impressive guy. After majoring in math at UC at Berkeley, he got a PhD in Political Science at MIT, then did postdoc work at MIT on the intersection of high tech and global policy and advised federal agencies. He then went on to found Vermeer Technologies, the company that developed FrontPage, which he sold to Microsoft to begin his career as a documentary filmmaker. His first documentary was about the Iraq war. And then came Inside Job.
Nothing about the featured interview and the film is new – I’m a full year behind the loop – but if you, too, didn’t catch the film last year, watch it. And watch this interview. It’s an hour well spent.