Charles Ferguson, 2010 (9.0*)
Best Documentary (AA)
This is probably the most important documentary made in our lifetime, as it covers the biggest financial crime ever committed which will have worldwide repercussions for decades to come. Actor Matt Damon narrates a story that is pure nightmare become reality, one that has touched most of the world by now in one way or another. (Many lost jobs, houses, life savings, pension plans - the rest will pay higher taxes and have higher inflation as a result)
Director, author, producer Charles Ferguson does a good job explaining exactly how this all happened, and won an Oscar® for documentary as a result. I for one am glad he included the repeal in 1999 by a Republican Congress of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which was put in place to prevent banks from taking unnecessary risks in order to prevent the exact scenario which took place within a decade after it's repeal. (me and many financial experts predicted this exact outcome over time - my friends called me a "doomsayer"; now they don't call me at all - they're probably broke; I pulled all my money out of the market in 2003) Every time you hear someone ask for "deregulation", remember that it's NEVER WORKED YET, so get ready to be fleeced again by con artists. (it was deregulation that caused strikes, riots, and death squads in Argentina; it was done as a condition for a loan from the World Bank, controlled by the U.S., which was, of course, to allow corporations to pillage Argentinians as a test)
This film shoud infuriate everyone. Hopefully, many people not currently in prison will be put there eventually, especially the fat cat execs at the superbanks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, etc.. One of these guys (Fuld at Bear Stearns?) pulled 246 million out of his company in "compensation" just before it went bankrupt. Good grief, this would bankrupt 99% of all companies in America. How could we NOT have gotten his money back? If this nation was any more spineless, we'd have to be reclassified as earthworms, and at about that level, for letting these crooks get away with pillaging the world's wealth for their own private benefit.
The most maddening part is that Obama hired many of the same criminals himself - perhaps they really work for the Corleones and Sopranos and everyone has a gun to their heads. That's the only possible explanation for this entire baffling chain of events, especially giving the same crooks even more money to throw into their private coffers.
This film will hopefully ignite a fire under someone here with BALLS - it's obvious that NO ONE in our government has any, and the populace is suffering as a result. This truly is a government "of, by, and for the corporation", as Jim Cramer on MadMoney termed it. We are living proof that "democracy" just plain doesn't work, due to the corruptable nature of humans, who will sell out to the highest bidder, in this case the corporations willing to pay them off in the guise of "campaign contributions", so it has the appearance of legitimacy.
How typical that NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, interviewed here, who tried to go after some of the crooks, was then painted with the "immoral" brush for using hookers, something the Wall Streeters did by the tens of thousands, according to one high price escort madame interviewed in this film. He paid a personal price while the crooks have gotten off scot free so far. If I were these guys, I'd not only leave the U.S. for good, but I'd hire a small army of bodyguards, as they won't be able to sleep safely anywhere in the world now that Al Quaeda and everyone else knows who they are.
Note: everyone should read journalist, and former corporate corruption investigator for the insurance industry, Greg Palast's eye-opening expose of U.S. corporations and politics "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy", about how all western politicians are controlled by big money who simply buys the favorable legislation they want, and who also control the media that refused to report or even print his findings. In England, the government ransacked his office and gave him death threats, likely due to pressure from the U.S. "Freedom of the press" and "free speech" are just expressions used by politicians - if they have to tell us that we have them, then we really don't, which is obvious to everyone by now. In fact, in the Smother Bros vs CBS trial, U.S. government lawyers testified for CBS, and said "freedom of speech is only for owners, it was never implied for individuals". That was news to nearly everyone who has read the Constitution.