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Watch and Weep.
on 11 July 2017
Margin Call is probably the best fictional treatment of the latest economic crisis and is, to my mind, in the same league as the wonderfully acutely intelligent documentary Inside Job. The action takes place over a couple of days in the Manhattan headquarters of an unnamed highly respected investment bank and the film opens with the bank's latest round of brutal lay offs. One of the victims is a senior risk analyst who manages to pass on a file to a relatively new employee and the contents of the file are explosive and the bank is on the brink of the biggest bank collapse of all time.
The cast is outstanding and includes Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Zachery Quinto and Jeremy Irons in top form as CEO John Tuld. It is Tuld's responsibility to make the margin call which means it is up to him to order the bank to start dumping worthless stock before news spreads of the imminent collapse of the bank an action which hanged their customers out to dry! It is now known that some banks had gone so far as to create hedge funds intended to fail which enabled them to bet against the funds and make money.
It is clearly portrayed just how immoral corporations really are; their goal is to succeed and make ever more gargantuan profits, pay their employees obscene salaries without any thought to the human cost involved. The rich protect themselves and get ever richer and there is absolutely no sense of responsibility towards customers or the public interest.