- This documentary compares Iceland to America, explores the effects of the global economic crisis, and also explores the lifestyles of those involved in the financial sector in order to take a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown of 2008.
- “The global economic crisis of 2008 cost tens of millions of people their savings, their jobs, and their homes”
- The documentary begins with the comparison of Iceland and America. Iceland went from the perfect place to live, to the collapse of Iceland’s banks, unemployment tripling in six months, privatized banks, and the eventual ruining of the economy. While all of this was taking place, the government’s regulators did nothing, with one third of the financial regulators going to work for the three major, now privatized banks. The situation in Iceland is very similar to the situation in America. After the great depression, there was strict regulations, which led to 40 years without a crisis. Starting with the Reagan administration, and banks going public in the eighties, people working in the financial sector started getting rich. This led to a thirty year period of financial deregulation. Similarily to Iceland, there were dangerous incentives and there was a general disregard for the impact of their actions. This rise of the U.S financial sector due to these incentives has led to a series of increasingly severe financial crisis, with this documentary focusing on the global economic crisis of 2008. I always knew that Wall Street and the stock market effected the entire economy and everyone’s lives, but this documentary gave me the connection and the reasoning as to why the financial sector effects everyone’s lives, and the 2008 crisis is a great example of this. The risky investments cost tax payers 124 billion dollars, while people on Wall Street were getting rich, and leading ridiculously lavish lifestyles. These lifestyles included the use of drugs, specifically cocaine, prostitutes, and strippers. The people leading these lifestyles had no problem with spending the day with a prostitute and going home to their wife and children. I think that all the money laundering and lying and rule breaking and drug use shows that the people involved in the financial sector lack morals, and therefore it isn’t a big deal for them to be betting against bad investments at the same time they’re telling customers they were good investments, in order to make money and benefit personally. And because these people lack morals and ethics, and a general disregard for their impact, the economy crashed, but they continued and still continue to live their lavish lifestyles, with little legal consequences. Overall, this documentary shows the effects of the deregulation and dangerous incentives on the average American, which is something I always knew but never had a good argument for. And while Flash Boys went into detail how this unethical behavior took place, this documentary makes the connection as to why its important to care about this unethical behavior, and how it effects everyone. And I see a solution to this unethical behavior as more regulations, like how if was after the great depression. However there are many problems that arise with that solution, and I think that is one reason why Wall Street is such a challenge, not only to understand, but to fix.