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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

good if you know the story behind it

5/10
Author: serracinar from uk
2 May 2012

This documentary movie short enough to watch without learning too much what was going behind the scenes.

A narrative guy who is ID and responsibility in the company is unknown is talking randomly and not giving much insight.

We see a meeting room full of people but we don't know who they are. So if you are not familiar with the full story, I suppose you would struggle to follow.

Also terms are used is fine for a person with finance background but wouldn't mean much to others.

Overall a nice attempt but not to the point - leaves blanks to fill and the effect of the collapse has gone untouched.

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Wolves entering Wall Street

8/10
Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
27 January 2014

This is a docu-drama about the 2008 US banking crisis made rather quickly by the BBC hence its a little rough around he edges. Although other films have subsequently been made, this one was first out of the blocs.

Lehman Brothers is bank that has been in business since before the American Civil War. However in September 2008 they were in meltdown. Over the weekend the US Treasury Secretary (James Cromwell) has assembled the best of Wall Street in Downtown Manhattan to save the bank going under its toxic assets and hence save the capitalists system from the Russian and Chinese.

Of course a lot of the other's assembled have their own toxic assets lurking behind them and we have drama, recriminations, plotting and even back stabbing as they get about to save Lehman Brothers and maybe even their own skins. James Cromwell as Hank Paulsen cajoles them and at one points begs them to get things together.

Given that this drama might look dense and complicated because of the labyrinth nature of the deals that caused the crisis, its raw human edged emotions that carry this drama through. At the end we are left with shallow but rich people who still ended up doing rather nicely for themselves out as all but Lehman got bailed out. After all Paulsen was the ultimate Wall Street insider.

The cast is a mixture of North American and British actors (playing Americans.) Cromwell given his size towers above the others, even though politically he admits he is at odds with Paulsen's views, he does convey the urgency of the situation very well.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

This may well mean the end of civilization as we know it!

6/10
Author: sol from Brooklyn NY USA
12 June 2010

***SPOILERS*** Heart pounding but true story of the collapses of one of the nations major banking intuitions Lehman Brothers. A bank that's been in business since before the American Civil War.

It's Friday afternoon September 12, 2008 and Lehman's Bros. CEO the by now on the verge of an emotional breakdown Dick Fuld, Corey Johnson, has until the end of this long and nerve wracking weekend to save his beloved company. Thats before it goes bust at the opening of trading on Monday, D-Day, September 15, 2008. With the biggest brains on Wall Street assembled in downtown Manhattan to save Lehman Bros. US Treasury Secretary Henry "Hank" Paulsen, James Cromwell, is to see that everything is done to keep Lehman Bros from going under the waves of red ink and toxic assets that it had accumulated over the last five years. That short of declaring a national emergency by the Presidet that would suspend trading that following and fateful Monday morning.

It's at that meeting that the very unstable and outspoken Fuld wasn't allowed to attend, in order not to make things even worse then they already are, that's it's decided by Secretary Paulsen to bail out Lehman Bros. with private, from the bankers present, not government or tax payer money.

As the hours tic away with Monday September 15, 2008 about to dawn a ray of hope comes into the boardroom with British bank Barclay willing to buy up Lehman Bros at bargain basement prices. That would keep it from filing bankruptcy the following Monday with it's stock expected to plummet to practically zero per share! With everything going good for both Lehman Bros. and it's by now almost straight jacketed CEO Dick Fuld the deal falls through with the British Government refusing to back the Braclay/Lehman deal thus killing it: As well as Lehman Bros who's very existence depended on it!

The Lehman Bros. collapse would set off a tidal wave of bankruptcies all throughout the financial world in the coming days weeks and months after its demise. This would not only put 25,000 of Lehman's employees out of work but evaporated its some 650 billion dollars, more then the GDP of many industrialized countries, in stock and real estate assets! The stock market together with Lehman Bros was the first to feel the effects of the Lehman Bros. collapse by it dropping over 500 points on September 15, 2008 the date that Lehman Bros. announced it was failing for bankruptcy. In the coming months millions of people in the financial world as well as in those companies dependent on Lehman Bros. loan and borrowing policies lost their jobs and business with the market dropping an astounding -53.8%, from 14164 to 6547, in just under 18 months! The worst Wall Street stock market drop in such a short period of time since the darkest days of the 1930's Great Depression!

The sad thing about this major financial disaster that almost destroyed the banking institutions of the entire world is that the same John Paulsen who refused to bail out Lehman Bros. with government money and let It twist on the vine later, in less then two weeks, came up with this plan to save the US economy with almost a trillion dollars in what was mostly money that the government didn't have! In the end, as of now June 2010, Paulsen's and the US National Reserve policies did save and stabilize the US and the world economies but they came a bit too late, some two weeks too late, to save Lehman Bos!

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6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Right story, wrong audience

2/10
Author: cjevansaicp from United States
20 September 2010

This was difficult to watch. It was, I believe, intended for outsiders. Unfortunately, only insiders would know the players without a score card. Not many casual viewers would have known that "Tim" was Tim Geithner; "Hank" was Hank Paulson, etc. Only Dick Fuld was identified and had I not read something about the period I would not have known who was being portrayed.

It was also a great story told very poorly. There was a brief voiced-over introduction by an irrelevant character but, nothing nearly in depth enough to initiate the casual observer as to the historic nature of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. In fact, we enter the story well into the crisis. Again, insiders would not have cared but, the casual observer, the people who need to watch this, would not have understood the references to Bear Sterns, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac without some introduction or "ramping up" to tie the threads together and put the event into perspective. As such, without the before (Bear Sterns, Fannie and Freddie) and the after (AIG, Wachovia, Morgan Stanley), the story is about one rich dude with a bad attitude trying to get a number of "suits" to help him out of a jam. In actuality, it was a serious event the full implications of which we will not know for many years. The fact that 47 percent of Americans think the Republicans would do a better job of running the economy indicates how little about the causes of this crisis main street really understands; they are ready to give the keys to the car back to the guys who ruined it in the first place.

All in all --- important story directed at the wrong audience.

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