The Big Short – Movie Review

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It was an era when Twentysomethings became mortgage brokers and overnight were making $15,000 per month and driving Lamborghinis.  A year earlier, they were making minimum wage in the service industries.  An era of house flippers who could buy a house with no money down and sell is a month later at a $50,000 profit.  House prices kept going up and up and no one, but a few with a recollection of history knew those prices could come crashing down.  Most jumping into the real estate speculation game thought that their home investment could only drop at most 10% in value.  They were wrong, in the early nineties, the housing market crashed and some homes lost 40% of their value leaving many home buys upside down on their mortgages.

At the peak of the US housing market during 2006 – 2007, subprime mortgages and adjustable rate mortgages meant that anyone with a pulse could borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars with virtually no money down to buy homes at low interest rates.  Sadly, many of the people buying these overpriced homes had no business buying a home in the first place because they could not afford them!

Smart people started looking into the sky high prices in the housing market and started to notice an increase in defaults and people losing their jobs in a slower economy.  The government, banks, rating agencies (such as Standard & Poor’s and Dun and Bradstreet), The US Federal Reserve, and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) all turned a blind eye to all of the warning signs and let the US economy collapse while taking down the world’s economy in the process.

Certain Wall Street outsiders were all paying attention as highlighted in Michael Lewis’ Book, The Big Short on which the movie is based on.  Christian Bale who played the semi-autistic Michael Burry, Steve Carell who plays the neurotic Mark Baum, Ryan Gosling who plays the calculating Jared Vennett, and Brad Pitt who plays the new age hippie Ben Rickert figured out the biggest financial scam in history and bet big against the financial markets by shorting the banks and making a colossal fortunes in the process.

This movie is a play-by-play of how the housing market plunged the American economy into a recession with funny cameos by Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie, and even Anthony Bourdain and is worth the watch!

 

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