The Big Short is a brilliant piece of film work. To keep excitement, interest and focus on financials from so many different perspectives for 128 minutes in not easy. The Big Short played like a well oiled machine. Each player was like a detective unraveling a case and there were many players. In 2005, Michael Burry (Christian Bale) noticed the US housing market was very unstable because of subprime loans based on high risk, providing very few returns. He predicted that the market would collapse around the second quarter of 2007 but he also realized he could profit from the situation by creating a credit default swap market that would allow him to bet against the housing market. He went to several banks and successfully sold his idea. However, his clients felt he was wasting their money and demanded that he cease all activities plus return their money but Burry refused. As tempers heated, Burry placed a moratorium on withdrawals, which made his investors even more angry. The market did indeed collapse as Burry predicted and he produced 489% profits from his plan.
Trader, Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) hears of Burry’s actions so he decides to put his own plan into something call the credit default swap market. In turn Hedge Fund Manager, Mark Baum (Steve Carell) joins Vennett. Together they discover the collapse is being further perpetuated by the sale of CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) that are pretty much worth nothing but dishonestly AAA rated. After attending the American Securitization Forum in Las Vegas, Mark finds synthetic CDOs have now entered into the market, which will render the market completely helpless at the banks’ expense, so he decides to go through with the credit default swaps to make a bundle for himself while the economy goes belly up.
Two young investors, Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) discover a paper by Vennett that leads them to become involved with the credit default swaps. Because they fall short of an ISDA, they had to turn to a friend and retired banker, Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) to help them pull off all they would need to be successful in this endeavor. Together they attended the mortgage securities forum in Las Vegas and made lots of deals. The two were never happier to make deals that would result in making them super rich but bring the economy to its knees at the same time. Rickert wasn’t happy but didn’t pull out either. Brad Pitt’s performance was phenomenal.
The Big Short is a fast moving film that really says it all when it came to the endless financial corruption that ran rampart during the end of the Bush Administration. I don’t feel anyone paid enough for all the crime that happened. So many innocent people lost everything and some even lost their lives. The Big Short really told it like it was. The acting was fantastic. I enjoyed the movie and recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind getting upset at how easily these guys manipulated the US economy.
[THE BIG SHORT is nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Film Editing and Adapted Screenplay]