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Thu Dec 24, 2015, 02:41 PM

The Big Short Movie

I highly recommend that America flock to this movie like we do for Star Wars. Well, one can hope? However, if you want to have a peaceful holidays, best wait until after Christmas. Took my oldest son and 14 year old daughter to see it late last night. When we got home, my daughter said: "How in the hell am I supposed to go to sleep now? I'm really really pissed-off." All I could tell her was to not worry too much as every little thing that Congress has tried to rein in the greedy careless assholes who run the show has been nibbled away, taken apart and de-fanged by the Republicans and some of the spineless whores posing as Democrats. It's the usual response by the United States of Amnesia. My son who has a degree in Mathematics and is finishing a Masters in Economics just shook his head and said: "Thank god they made it funny in parts, otherwise it would be too depressing to make it as a movie."

The sturm and drang of the primary season can be captivating and even consuming. Meanwhile, stocks are soaring, Fukushima is spewing (and Japan is going to host an Olympics!), wars are raging, Americans are incarcerated and the common thread to all of this is that nobody is held accountable. Why none of the banks were busted up? why these Wall Street buttholes get bonuses instead of sentences and fines? and why do we go along with paying for their mess? are questions I find so infuriating and now to my young daughter as well.

As the Stooges might say - 'Tis the season to eat, drink, and beat Larry

And please go see The Big Short.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Big Short Movie (Original post)
shadowmayor Dec 2015 OP
cwydro Dec 2015 #1
rhett o rick Jan 2016 #24
Gothmog Dec 2015 #2
still_one Dec 2015 #3
shadowmayor Dec 2015 #5
still_one Dec 2015 #17
lame54 Dec 2015 #8
Brother Buzz Dec 2015 #4
Proserpina Dec 2015 #6
longship Dec 2015 #12
longship Dec 2015 #13
Whiskeytide Dec 2015 #15
longship Dec 2015 #16
MinM Dec 2015 #22
MinM Jan 2016 #23
NastyRiffraff Dec 2015 #7
pansypoo53219 Dec 2015 #11
longship Dec 2015 #9
Proserpina Dec 2015 #20
longship Dec 2015 #10
colsohlibgal Dec 2015 #14
miyazaki Dec 2015 #18
shadowmayor Dec 2015 #19
miyazaki Dec 2015 #21

Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 02:48 PM

1. I've been thinking about going to see it.

Lol, I was worried I'd end up like your daughter - depressed, or more possible - ANGRY.

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Response to cwydro (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 19, 2016, 12:09 AM

24. You need to see it. See how HRC's friends looted the 99% for 5 trillion dollars and

 

they are still in business and HRC still supports them. They will do it again unless something is done and she isn't about to turn her back on those that made her a super wealthy woman.

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 02:53 PM

2. I am planning on seeing this movie

It looks interesting

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 02:56 PM

3. Lot of good movies. Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, and Trumbo

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Response to still_one (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 03:01 PM

5. Trifecta of Outrage

Saw all three and I firmly believe we are living in the new golden age of movies. So many smart, well-written and wonderfully acted movies on important and thought-provoking subjects. Trumbo is especially timely given the current angst and fear dominating our media, and hence our nation these days.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and be safe but not afraid!!!

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Response to shadowmayor (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 08:39 PM

17. Happy holidays to everyone also

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Response to still_one (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 03:43 PM

8. Trumbo was good...

very interesting character

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 02:59 PM

4. Speaking of the The Big Short....

It would be interesting if a theater ran a double billing:

The Big Short and Robert (big short man) Reich's film, Inequality for All

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 03:15 PM

6. I'll be going after I heard Terri Gross' interview of the maker of the film

 

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism pooh-poohed it. It wasn't sufficiently wonky for her...but she's rather strange and possessive like that.

Debunking “The Big Short”: How Michael Lewis Turned the Real Villains of the Crisis into Heros

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/12/debunking-the-big-short-how-michael-lewis-turned-the-real-villains-of-the-crisis-into-heros.html

Posted on December 13, 2015 by Yves Smith

I hate to give any attention to Michael Lewis’ The Big Short, since the wildly popular book told a fundamentally misleading story of the crisis which sadly has become conventional wisdom. And it wasn’t just harmlessly inaccurate; it directed public and even lawmaker attention away from the real drivers of this debacle.

Absent the actions of the subprime shorts that Lewis lionized, the US would have suffered a S&L-level housing criss (which at the time was seen as a serious blow to the banking system and the economy), not a global financial crisis that came perilously close to taking down systemically important capital markets firms around the world. And let us not forget that the way in which the financial system was rescued represented the greatest looting of the public purse in history.

But the fact that the movie based on the book is now out and getting a lot of attention in the media and even among people I know, it seems necessary to remind readers how the book has done a great disservice by deceiving the public. And that includes influential members of the public; Politico reported that “‘The Big Short’ has been mentioned at least 15 times on the Senate floor and in press conferences and committee hearings.”

In fairness, Lewis did a good job of explaining in laypeople’s language how out of control the subprime market was and how CDOs worked. But he was hardly alone on either account; Gillian Tett’s Fools Gold has a terrific primer on CDOs, and there were plenty of other fine accounts of the lunacy in the subprime market (but in fairness, some of better long-form treatments, like All the Devils are Here, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, were published after The Big Short, and thus lost the “first/early mover” advantage). Greg Zuckerman’s The Greatest Trade Ever is a much more comprehensive overview of the subprime short, and was released a good four months before The Big Short, but lacked its novelistic style, in particular, the reliable Lewis formula of “oddball outsiders take on the Establishment and win big”...

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Response to Proserpina (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 05:31 PM

12. Maybe that is why Zuckerman's work did not make it.

Michael Lewis has a talent of digging deep and finding those individuals, who although are at the periphery, cut to the core of topic.

Michael Burry, Steve Eisman, and Charlie Hedley serve as a near perfect framing of a narrative of how the entire worldwide economy nearly melted down. The scene in the book between Eisman (double-dipping his edamame) and Wing Chau is a revelation. "Say that again!" Yet you learn in that scene how the doomsday machine operated.

You can promote other narratives, but Lewis' is the one who lucidly explained exactly what a credit default swap and a collateralized debt obligation are. Oh! Plus what a synthetic collateralized debt obligation is! Others may explain it academically, Michael Lewis does it with narrative. And when Eisman realizes that Wing Chau is on the other side of his wager he, and the readers, know that he's the chump. Plus, we then know exactly what a synthetic CDO is.

For Christ sakes! It is the narrative that informs.

I reject your rejection. The Big Short is a Big Win. Can't wait to see the film.

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Response to Proserpina (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 06:30 PM

13. Here is Lewis' explanation of how it worked.

Again, it is Eisman and Wing Chau, probably the most important scene in the book .

There is a reason why Greg Lippmann had picked Wing Chau to sit beside Steve Eisman. If Wing Chai detected Eisman's disapproval, he didn't show it; instead he spoke to Eisman in a tone of condescension. I know better. "Then he says something that blew my mind," Eisman said. "He says, 'I love guys like you who short my market. Without you I don't have anything to buy.'"

Say that again.

"He says to me, 'The more excited you get that you're right, the more trades you'll do, and the more trades you do, the more product for me.'"

That is when Eisman finally understood the madness of the machine. He and Vinny and Danny had been making these side bets with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank on the fate of the Triple-B tranche of subprime mortgage-backed bonds without fully understanding why those firms were so eager to accept them. Now he was face-to-face with the actual human being on the other side of his credit default swaps. Now he got it: the credit default swaps, filtered through the CDOs, were being used to replicate bonds backed by actual home loans. There weren't enough Americans with shitty credit taking out loans to satisfy investors' appetite for the end product. Wall Street needed his bets in order to synthesize more of them. "They weren't satisfied getting lots of unqualified borrowers to borrow money to buy a house they couldn't afford," said Eisman. "They were creating them out of whole cloth. One hundred times over! That's why the losses in the financial system are so much greater than just the subprime loans. That's when I realized that they needed us to keep the machine running. I was like, This is allowed?"

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Response to longship (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 07:04 PM

15. That was the meeting, if I recall correctly...

... where Eisman said afterwards that he wanted to "bet against EVERYTHING that guy was betting on".

Loved the book. Can't wait to see the movie!

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Response to Whiskeytide (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 07:35 PM

16. Yup! Here is how Lewis tells it.

Danny and Vinny looked at them through the hibachi steam. As far as they could tell, Eisman and Wing Chau were getting along famously. But when the meal was over, they watched Eisman grab Gregg Lippmann, point to Wing Chau, and say, "Whatever that guy is buying, I want to short it." Lippmann took it as a joke, but Eisman was completely serious: He wanted to place a bet specifically against Wing Chau. "Greg," Eisman said, "I want to short his paper. Sight unseen." Thus far Eisman had bought only credit default swaps on subprime mortgage bonds; from now on, he figured, he'd buy specifically credit default swaps on Wing Chau's CDOs. "He finally met the enemy, face-to-face," said Vinny.

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Response to Proserpina (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 25, 2015, 09:29 AM

22. Thanks for that piece. Listening to Fresh Air there seemed to be a disconnect

between what the filmmaker (Adam McKay) was portraying as the good guys and what we know actually went down.

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Response to MinM (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 11:12 PM

23. That said..

it sounds like a good one.

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 03:32 PM

7. I've seen it

and was VERY impressed at the job they did on this film. I thought it would be good, since even Michael Lewis, the author of the book of the same name, liked it. Authors never ever like what Hollywood does to their books. This may be a first. Believe it or not, the film does explain, although necessarily partially, credit default swaps, CDOs and tranches, among other sleights of hand practiced by Wall Street. The cast was brilliant, particularly Christian Bale and Steve Carell.

And I don't blame your daughter for being "really pissed off." I got angry all over again. Everyone should read the book too. Lewis makes this stuff actually accessible. He not only explained the mysteries of Wall Street finance, but made it interesting. And to me, who is a financial dunce!

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Response to NastyRiffraff (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 05:08 PM

11. i also recommend an old book b kevin philips. american theocracy. pt 1 & 3, part 2 is what killed it

it CLEARLY shows why we are where we are + it PROVED what i thought about greenspan all along. and his social security fix in the 80's is CLEARLY showing WHY HE SUCKED.

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 04:22 PM

9. Steve fucking Eisman!

He is the main character in the book because he is the guy who speaks the truth and is unashamed of that. In the film he is named Mark Baum. Why in the fuck does Hollywood do this shit? Both of Eisman's compatriots have their real names, Vinny Daniels and Danny Moses. Does anybody who knows the story not think that Mark Baum isn't Steve Eisman? Fuck Hollywood!

And the film is classed as a comedy! Well, Michael Lewis certainly has a sense of humor. But this is more tragedy than comedy. However, here's one amusing scene with Eisman from the book. (Among many)

His interaction with the head of a Japanese real estate firm is illustrative. Eisman, through an interpreter, is discussing whether he will invest in the company. I'll let Lewis take the rest of the narrative.

Eisman noted that the guy's financial statements didn't actually disclose any of the really important details about the guy's company; but, rather than simply say that, he lifted the statement in the air, as if disposing of a turd. "This is toilet paper," he said. "Translate that."

"The Japanese guy takes off his glasses," recalled a witness to the strange encounter. "His lips were quavering. World War Three is about to break out. 'Toy-lay paper? Toy-lay paper?'"


If that scene gets into the movie it would be worth any price of admission. Fortunately there are many more Eisman encounters in the book which would equally qualify. Double dipping the edamame in Las Vegas with Wing Chau, a guy on the other end of the economic doomsday machine, is another good Eisman moment. His social graces may not be appropriate, but he surely figured things out. And that is what matters. Eisman immediately decided to bet against Chau after their meeting. BTW, Wing Chau eventually goes broke, like many on that side of the bet. Eisman got very wealthy, but took little pleasure in it. He's a complex character. I hope Steve Carell does a good job portraying him .

The film is not showing here yet. Back woods! I may have to wait for the NetFlicks DVD.

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Response to longship (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 25, 2015, 12:08 AM

20. The author said in the Terri Gross interview that if a person asked, his name was not used

 

which is only fair, you must admit.

It is their right to ask for whatever protection they can get.

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 04:41 PM

10. Here's the trailer. Looks good.

Last edited Thu Dec 24, 2015, 05:12 PM - Edit history (2)



The early reviews are positive. Given how great the book is, I expect this could be a big film. (Or maybe people will just ignore it, to their misfortune.)

From what I see, the focus is on Dr. Michael Burry, he arguably did the first credit default swaps on mortgage bonds, betting against the banks. He also figures prominently in Lewis' book. Then there's the guy who set the whole thing in motion, Gregg Lippmann a Deutsches Bank trader played by Ryan Gosling in the film, mysteriously cast as Jared Vennett. Why in the fuck does Hollywood do this? Everybody knows he's Gregg Lippmann.

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 06:43 PM

14. Still Amazing

That rather than being sent to prison for obvious and rampant financial fraud, these entitled jerks not only got to keep their ill gotten gains, they got to augment their golden parachutes with the bailout. Thanks Obama....who said we had to reign in Wall Street while running and then did the opposite once in office.

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Response to shadowmayor (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 09:38 PM

18. I'm sorry, what's wrong with Japan and the Olympics?

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Response to miyazaki (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 24, 2015, 09:47 PM

19. What a little radiation?

Other than missing and melting reactor cores spewing poison into the ground, the water, and the air and the people in charge of mitigating this disaster not having a clue, Nothing wrong here folks. In a word - Fukushima!

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Response to shadowmayor (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 25, 2015, 01:11 AM

21. I should have known better. Sorry I even bumped the post. n/t

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