Saturday, December 10, 2011

A movie to see: Margin Call

I attended a Heritage Foundation event the other day in Palm Beach. It was very good, informative and interesting, plus I got to meet Karl Rove again and pester some the Heritage policy wonks about all of the stuff they were getting wrong.

I had driven up the day before, so I had a free evening at the resort. Party guy that I am, I stayed in my room and watched a movie. But it was a movie I hadn't seen before: Margin Call, staring Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci, and others.

The movie is about an investment bank--supposedly based on Lehman Brothers--at the very beginning of the financial crisis of 2007/8. Essentially, a junior analyst discovers that the mortgage backed securities aren't really worth anything close to the market price and that the bank is so over-leveraged, a drop in the price of these securities would be catastrophic. The entire movie takes place over two days--mostly one night--and is simply fantastic.

But I have to say that the bank and players remind me as much of Bear Stearns and its principals, as of Lehman Brothers. House of Cards is a great account of the former and what transpired in a matter of days within that firm.

Either way, Margin Call is a great movie, splendidly acted, that provides some real insights into the crisis and what people were/may have been thinking.

Two thumbs up and a bag of chips.

Cheers, all.

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