It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
I had an inkling that the movie 'Big Short' might be propaganda.
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.
Lewis’ tale is neat, plausible to a mass market audience fed a steady diet of subprime markets stupidity and greed, and incomplete in critical ways that render his account fundamentally misleading. It’s almost too bad the book’s so readable, because a lot of people will mistake readability for accuracy, and it’s a pity that Lewis, being a brand name author, has been given a free pass by big-name media like 60 Minutes (old people) and The Daily Show (young people) to sell to an audience of tens of millions a version of the financial crisis that just won’t stand up – not if we’re really trying to get to the heart of the matter, rather than simply wishing to be entertained by breezy well-told stories that provide a bit of easy-to-digest instruction without challenging conventional wisdom.
Lewis’ need to anchor his tale in personalities results in a skewed misreading of the subprime crisis and why and how it got as bad as it did. The group of short sellers he celebrates were minor-leaguers compared to the likes of Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and John Paulson. Lewis’ desire to satisfy his fan base’s craving for good guys led him to miss the most important story of our age: how a small number of operators used a nexus of astonishing leverage and camouflaged risk to bring the world financial system to its knees and miraculously walked away with their winnings. These players are not the ugly ducklings of Lewis’ fairy tale; they are merely ugly. Whether for his own profit or by accident, Lewis has denied the public the truth.
Debunking “The Big Short”: How Michael Lewis Turned the Real Villains of the Crisis into Heros
Read “Griftopia” by Matt Taibii, pay particular attention to chapter 3 specifically pages 115 - 119. Lloyd Blankfein was overly aggressive and combative in his collateral calls to AIG. This left the Fed and the Treasury with no alternative...
I had an inkling that the movie 'Big Short' might be propaganda. Just the fact that they were using top name actors and making them out to be rebel hero's in one of the biggest swindles of all time , gave me pause to think.
The movie the “Big Short” is propaganda, it wasn’t the 99% the brought about the collapse of the mortgage industry, but Llyod Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and him alone
Yves Smith wonderfully explains why this book is a complete crock. The major problem with books by Michael Lewis [and yes, they are mighty dangerous], is that the reader may walk with with the fantasy that they really learned something. What Lewis skillfully avoids is ever demonstrating how so much was by design; wilful financial fraud and manipulation, instead Lewis reads as if stuff happens by accident. It was rigged throughout and from the get-go; John Paulson was a professional thief, as was Magnetar Capital and Goldman Sachs and so many others. Read Dean Baker, read Erin Arvedlund and Matt Taibbi and Nomi Prins, but avoid Lewis if the truth is what you are after. [After reading a Lewis book, you won't know it was by design; you still won't know who owns anything!
Finish this "sexy" book, written on the level of gossip, and you will know LESS causes of the crash than you did when you began. When you finish "The Big Short," you will have been thoroughly entertained by risque dialogue, fiction-ish anecdotes, suspense, and delightful little scandalous facts about individuals. But you will know LESS than when you began about the origins of the first financial crash in 100 years (since 1907), how it could have been prevented, and why we are being set up for another one. To get THAT information, I recommend "The Financial Crisis and The Free-Market Cure" by John Allison. Unlike Michael Lewis, who is just a popular journalist who specializes in turning financial issues into gossipy good-reads, Allison was a player at the very heart of what was occurring.
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Big Short
Though Lewis's book recounts the ancillary players in this drama -- like Michael Burry and Greg Lippmann -- Paulson is essentially missing. It was if Lewis were telling the story of the 2009 World Series winning Yankees and not including anything about A Rod or Derek Jeter. One of the points of these books is how conventional wisdom "missed it, how the media never saw the big story. By ignoring Zuckerman's much better book (The Greatest Trade Ever), and focusing on Lewis's, the media had done it again: choosing the sizzle of Lewis to the steak of Zuckerman. And the media wonders why we are all cynical. Lewis' book may be fun and end with a movie starring Brad Pitt but it is Zuckerman's books that gets at the heart of the matter, best explains the housing bubble and what really happened, and most importantly is the better read. If you were going to read one book on this subject, make it Zuckerman's.
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Big Short
This is a pretty awful book. Michael Lewis, after researching by reading a college kid's paper and then apparently not doing any more research not surprisingly has no idea what he is talking about. He repeatedly (and bizarrely) flubs key, central concepts like CDO's and CDS, just explaining them completely wrongly. It's not surprising that people who aren't familiar with these markets seem to find his explanations hard to understand -- it's because they are wrong and they make no sense! And it's getting really silly after 25 years that he still trying to pass himself off as some kind of finance expert because he was low level grunt for a very short period in the mid-1980s at Salomon (which, by the way, wasn't nearly as important a firm then as he repeatedly claims it was in this book).
On top of his technical incompetence in explaining what actually happened, the portraits of the people he chooses to focus on are as best as I can tell mostly fiction. I know a number of the people he discusses, and in every case his characterizations of them are simply cartoonish and have almost no relationship to reality. In general, the prose here is just painful at times, with his repeated attempts to draw big lessons from some minor thing somebody mentioned to him (or maybe didn't given how much of the personal stuff seems to be fiction). There's actually a whole chapter where he's trying to explain Eisman as some kind of Spiderman-like presence on Wall Street because he apparently mentioned to Lewis that he liked Spiderman comics as a kid or something that is just miserable, awful, painful writing.
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Big Short
From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression -- and they're about to do it again. They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage.
Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They've been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s — and now they're preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet.
Something quite HUGE is happening on Goldman’s radar! There is no question that Goldman Sachs engineered the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September of 2008.
Every Major Stock Market Crash Begins with a Trigger Event AKA a Controlled Demolition
Let me start this piece out by stating that the current economic depression that we are currently in was meticulously orchestrated and skillfully engineered. If you haven't come to this conclusion on your own yet, perhaps you are not paying close enough attention to the cold hard facts that have come forth from this economic nightmare. The proof is in how the Fed handled, or mishandled, the matter. The notion that our best and brightest economic minds did not see this coming is pure bull#. The fact that no one has been indicted or jailed for allowing this is disturbing on every level.
Plenty of folks are pointing the accusing finger at unscrupulous Wall Street practices, and rightfully so. Wall Street and its soulless parasitic minions of greed are a huge part of the collapse. The truth is, this meltdown was a mammoth raging tsunami nearly a mile high that couldn't be missed. This in itself is a telling indicator that the fix was in. There were so many destructive mechanisms in place, that it is impossible for the financial brain trust of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve to deny foreknowledge of this catastrophe, suggesting that those on the inside were well aware of the danger that was lurking.
Many causes for the economic collapse have been suggested, but the U.S. Senate issued Levin–Coburn Report found that the crisis was not a natural disaster. This was a contrivance of man that was no accident. Like an arsonist madly dousing our economic system with gas, the risky, destructive financial time bombs were purposefully laid with full knowledge of the inferno to come.
The Current Depression Was Carefully Engineered
Goldman Sachs is today the Illuminati’s locomotive engine. It drove up the price of oil to $147 per barrel; it was Goldman Sachs that gobbled up the failed U.S.S.R.’s valuable assets; that broke the back of California’s bonds; that crushed the entire planet’s economies in 2006 and 2007 with it derivative credit debacle; that funded the presidential campaigns of both McCain and Obama. Goldman Sachs sits atop the globe’s financial heap.
"I'm Doing God's Work"
The only thing is that I was a bit confused during parts of it (when it came to the stocks/securities and all that financial lingo), and I still don't quite understand exactly how they betted against the mortgage industry. I guess I need to do some research.
originally posted by: olaru12
a reply to: Murgatroid
Thanks for your commentary on the reason for the film.