Saturday, January 29, 2011
The Inside Job
Avarice or greed is a deadly sin, according to the list developed by the Roman Catholic church more than a thousand years ago. Apparently no one passed this information on to the gang on Wall Street before the global financial crash of 2008 which undermined the economies of many nations and ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands around the world. It could be argued that the events follwing "915," had a greater global impact than the horrific terrorist attacks of 911.
I watched the award-winning documentary, The Inside Job, narrated by Matt Damon, on my return flight from Victoria. I was so sickened by the unadulterated greed of already wealthy financial "leaders" that I could barely continue to the end. The collusion of regulators, bankers, rating agencies, politicians, is almost beyond comprehension.
In many cases these persons (mostly men) made tens and hundreds of millions of dollars by betting against the companies they headed, knowing the risks they were taking using other peoples' money. What was worse, after the crash they took no responsibility for their wrongdoing, nor have any of them been punished. While President Obama "talked tough" about bring the perpetrators to justice, it hasn't happened and probably never will. In truth, many of those who profitted from their greedy actions are still working in the financial sector and prospering even further. The U.S. government hasn't enacted new restrictions to reign in this sort of pilfering.
This past week a report tabled by an official inquiry offered that the financial crisis in the U.S. which triggered the global recession was avoidable. What an understatement. The report essentially confirms everything contained in the film. The crash didn't happen because of a series of mistakes or unfortunate circumstances. It was unfettered greed on the part of people who clearly knew what they were doing. Some of this gang make Bernie Madoff look like a nice guy by comparison.
Have any of you seen The Inside Job? Why do you think the U.S. allows a monetary system which can create such disasters? What is the role of the church and religious leaders to speak out against this deadly sin?