The Big Short is another movie on the Best Pictures nominees list this year. I am a very big admirer of all the guys involved with it, actors, the director, the book’s author, etc, but I feel that I have to mention a few things from the beginning. This is not The Wolf of Wall Street, this is not some biography, this is a movie largely based on real facts with some more than large suppositions and invented characters. Nor them, nor the figures are appropriate, or even close to reality.
It is nicely put together by a very talented director, Will Ferrell‘s friend and comic website co-founder Adam McKay. He implemented some “explanations” provided by different former Wall Street related characters (like Margot Robbie who starred as herself, in a bubble bath with champagne at hand) to make the financial terms clearer. I have appreciated Anthony Bourdain‘s cameo on that, and believe me, it was decisive. He explained very well what traders did to re-pack the mortgage bond. I’m not entering in more details now, you have to watch the movie for them.
The Big Short – Premises
The Big Short is another Wall Street Movie trying to explain in street terms what was the origin of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 which was triggered by the build-up of the housing market and the credit bubble, only without the promised comedic features.
This somehow entertaining movie stars Christian Bale as Dr. Michael Burry, a neurologist turned hedge fund manager who started California-based hedge fund Scion Capital. He has Asperger syndrome and an artificial left eye. He is the only real character from the original book and real life. I’m not sure at all about the financial figures in the film. Steve Carell is Mark Baum (a character based on Steve Eisman from the original book written by Michael Lewis), the manager of a Wall Street hedge fund “FrontPoint Capital” (based on FrontPoint Partners in real life), who is approached by Gosling’s character to invest in the credit default swap. Ryan Gosling as Jared Vennett (based on Greg Lippmann from the book and real life as well), a self-interested but highly talented bond salesman at Deutsche Bank who decides to short CDOs even though Deutsche itself is involved in the CDO business. He is also the narrator in The Big Short movie. John Magaro is Charlie Geller (based in reality on Charlie Ledley, another one in Lewis’ book), one of the founders and partners of Brownfield Capital (Cornwall Capital, actually), a hedge fund started “in a garage” (like everything else big) and looking to make an impact on Wall Street. Finn Wittrock is Jamie Shipley (Jamie Mai in reality), Geller’s friend and partner at Brownfield. Brad Pitt (couldn’t be left outside) is Ben Rickert (based on Ben Hockett from the book), Charlie and Jamie’s trader and mentor, who previously worked at the JPMorgan Chase Bank in Singapore as a trader.
The Big Short – A Movie Clip
That above wasn’t a trailer, it was a relevant movie clip with Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, showing what I have mentioned earlier about Adam McKay’s method on presenting the collateralized debt obligation (CDO) bubble in this fairly entertaining movie. I liked it because it explained better than any other movie ever made about the 2008 crisis, what was that all about, who was the fraudulent organ and how everything happened. The book is better than the movie, which is never a surprise.
You have to watch it because it is good, it is white and it has nothing to do with a great movie, but because of the stars inflation, it made the nominees list.
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