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The Flaw (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | 3 June 2011 (UK)
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An examination of the causes of the economic crisis of 2008.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Luan ... Himself - Former Mortgage Bond Trader
Robert Shiller ... Himself - Professor of Economics, Yale University
Louis Hyman ... Himself - Economic Historian, Harvard University
George Cooper ... Himself - Fund Manager, Blue Crest Capital
Robert Frank ... Himself - Professor of Economics, Cornell University
Nell Minow ... Herself - Corporate Watchdog, The Corporate Library
Joseph Stiglitz ... Himself - Nobel Prize for Economics, Columbia University
Dan Ariely ... Himself - Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Duke University
Ed Andrews ... Himself - Economics Correspondent, New York Times
Antoinette Coffi-Ahibo ... Herself - Optician
Steve Nahas ... Himself - Real Estate Investor
Robert Wade ... Himself - Professor of Political Economy, London School of Economics
Jim O'Neill ... Himself - Chief Economist, Goldman Sachs
Rose Alfano ... Herself - Realtor
Lawrence Citarello ... Himself - Real Estate Developer
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Storyline

People all over the world are still struggling with the aftermath of the greatest financial crisis since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. We all know what the effects have been but what exactly were the causes? The Flaw ranges widely across the history of American capitalism in the twentieth century, its rigor laced with sardonic humor and peopled with a cast of characters that spans Nobel-prize winning economists and distressed home owners to the New York Times financial correspondent on the brink of foreclosure and the Wall Street banker who feels the pain encoded in his spreadsheets. The film argues that the roots of the crisis lie in the changing relationship between the rich and the rest in American society. Written by Anonymous

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Watch The Flaw
2 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

Only 2 reviews for this remarkable film? I leave the spoiler box unchecked, but really, the film is a "spoiler" since it refers to the most recent crash, a veritable implosion of the global economy based partially on mortgage backed securities.

The film is British, so at the very least we have a fine mix of American and British academics in economics giving slightly different, but converging approaches to what happened.

I've seen a number of films on the crash (fictional and documentary), and this one is by far the best. The film is technical at times, but this is necessary. Nowadays, many of the actors involved in the financial sector are "financial engineers." The days of simplicity are long gone. It's all algorithms and computers now.

The film strikes a perfect balance between archival footage, expert discussion, and interviews with "real people" who were caught up in the real estate binge. And not all of those who bought houses were speculators, some just wanted a decent place to live, and maybe to use that decent place to consolidate debts.

The title "The Flaw" seems to have come from testimony given by Greenspan who referred to a flaw in his own ideology. The irony of this Randian admitting a problem with his ideology should not be taken for granted.

I walked away from this film wanting to watch it again. I hope more people will watch this film. This is not some kind of anti-capitalist diatribe. Instead the film methodically and subtly point out something we all know intuitively; capitalism as it presently functions cannot be sustained.

There are no simple answers. Only some terrifying questions. And by the way, nothing was solved by the bailouts that wasn't short term. Nothing.


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