“The Big Short” Is Only Half The Story

On Monday I finally got around to seeing “The Big Short.” I’m no film buff but I really enjoyed it and thought Christian Bale and Steve Carrell both gave amazing performances.

To me, the film did a great job of profiling a few of the guys who really nailed the mortgage crisis and fully understood its implications for the broader financial system way before anyone else even had a clue. I especially appreciated how the movie treated the abject loneliness of being a true contrarian. I’ve gone through it many times in my career. The film does about as good a job as I can imagine of putting you in their shoes as they are ostracized, ridiculed and eventually even victimized to some degree by their peers, clients, the media and the big banks before finally being vindicated.

There is one major component, however, that is glaringly absent from the movie and that is the role of the Fed in laying the groundwork for the crisis in the first place. For a more holistic view, I highly recommend my friend, Jim Bruce’s documentary, “Money For Nothing.”

Ultimately, I believe both films are “must watch” for anyone who truly wants to understand what really went wrong back in 2008 and why. More than that, they can help us understand just how history rhymes, knowledge which may prevent us from making these same, critical mistakes again and again, both as investors and as a society.

Get your copy of “Money For Nothing” at moneyfornothingthemovie.org and follow Jim on Twitter. He may even have a few t-shirts left (pictured above).