8 November 2010 | jdesando
No end in sight
"If a bank forecloses on you, don't move and demand they produce a copy of your mortgage. In many cases, they can't." Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)
In the course of the angry and benignly biased documentary, Inside Job, Marcy Kaptur predicts what is happening right now: Banks are being forced to halt foreclosures because of faulty paperwork. But such mistakes are only a symptom Charles Ferguson reveals of the 2008 world-wide financial crisis, which involves high-ranking government officials like Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner increasing their power while the policies they make cause certain harm to the people like us who have trusted them.
Like Fergusin's No End in Sight about the Iraq War, but more interesting and dramatic, Inside Job lays out logically the participation also of George Bush and Barack Obama in the global meltdown. Dispiriting are the derivative dispersal and shameful sub-prime lending that directly led to the breakdown of middle-class wealth while the purveyors of this massacre walked away with billions and no indictments. The Ponzi schemes of Kenneth Lay, Bernie Madoff, and their ilk are but small components of the charade that drew millions of hard-working, well-meaning citizens into debt and financial ruin as the value of their most cherished retirement vehicle, home value, dissipated right in front of their eyes.
Ferguson's documentary style is to remain behind the camera while letting the notables indict themselves. Unlike Michael Moore, he cares not to intrude or make a character of himself, something like Citizen Kane's reporter Thompson. Except when in a moment of profound pique he challenges the disaffection of Frederic Mishkin, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors: "I'm sorry, I'm sure that your textbook is important and widely read, but didn't you think that more important things were going on in the world?"
Unlike the recent screed of Davis Guggenheim against organized education in Waiting for Superman, in which teachers' unions could do no right and charter schools no wrong, Ferguson seems more honest in presenting only the facts. As I demanded of him to present the other side of the financial crisis, I couldn't think of what he could say to counter the welter of facts indicting those in front of his camera.
One of the most telling moments is that of Bush's Chief Economic Adviser, Glenn Hubbard: "You have three more minutes. Give it your best shot!" That arrogance informs the documentary and our grim lives for the foreseeable future.