Inside Job

If you’ve not already ground your teeth down to the gums in anger and frustration at the blatant criminality of the US banking system being allowed to get away scot-free by the US political and justice system before, during and after the financial meltdown of 2008, then go and finish the job by going to watch this film. A good number of the people in the audience when I went looked as if they’d have fitted nicely into the film themselves. Be that as it may, the film does a pretty good job of explaining the financial crookery that was taking place, such as the bundling up of financial packages which the banks’ traders themselves regarded as, quote, ‘crap’ and ‘shit’, conning people into buying them and then betting against the packages they’d sold as bound to fail. Being ‘crap’ they did fail, and the banks made a killing, thousands of times over. Why did the buyers think these packages were OK? Because the relevant agencies had given them triple A ratings, the highest you can get. Who else was in on the act? Well, university professors at places such as Harvard and Columbia, who wrote glowing reports on these packages (CDOs I think was the correct term) and, ultimately, the government commissions overseeing all this, and Obama, who has installed some of those most deeply involved, such as Bernanke, Summers, and Geithner in the highest positions in the financial realms of the US government. Not a single one of those responsible has been brought to court, or even arrested. It’s all absolutely mind-boggling, and you can’t really put words on the contempt and anger you feel about the whole damn thing. It’s small consolation to see some of these crooks wriggling with embarrassment as they try to justify what they did or claim they can’t quite remember what the details were, but if anyone was under the illusion that government, especially in democracies, works on behalf of the common people, then this film is a much-needed wake-up call. Go and see it.

Don Latter

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About transitionsl

I've been an English teacher for the best part of 30 years, teaching in England, Tanzania, Brunei, Australia and Hong Kong. I've always been interested in nature and environmental issues, but it was the discovery of Peak Oil about five years ago that galvanised me into trying to help my local community to prepare for what will be a dramatically different world to the one many of us have been used to. I've been helping to run a transition group, following the guidelines created by Rob Hopkins's Transition Movement in the UK. This blog is an attempt to engage in discussion with a wider group of people in Hong Kong on the ways to transition from our current oil dependency to a state of fossil-free local resilience.
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