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Friday, May 27, 2011

Inside Job or Inside Rot?

I just recently finished watching Inside Job. I know. I know. I’m a bit late but I’ve really been pursuing this DVD for a while now. Charles Ferguson provides a revealing look at the global financial crisis in Inside Job.  Over the span of two hours the viewer is introduced to dozens of players: authors, bank managers, government ministers, politicians, madams and even a psychotherapist. In many instances what’s even more telling who declined to be interviewed.

What really struck me about this DVD was the absolute lack of a moral compass in almost all of these individuals.  It galls me how they can sit there in front of the camera and excuse their behavior. Many of these folks are considered leaders: Business leaders, political leaders, and education leaders.  If these people are leaders where exactly have they led us? Oh yeah, to the brink of a depression. I almost forgot.

I’ve often heard a discussion that ethics should be taught in high schools and colleges. I used to think that this could be effective but let’s be serious.  Unless you are getting consistent messages from your parents, professors and society in general regarding the importance of ethics I don’t see how such a thing could work. The temptations: wealth, multi-million dollar homes, dream vacations, etc. can be overwhelming.

America used to be the land of innovation. Now it seems to be the leader in Ponzi schemes, payoffs and backroom type deals.  We have devolved into a culture that worships greed and materialism above all else. Back in the day when a bank gave you a mortgage, they wanted to be certain that you could pay it back. Common sense tells you that when you get a mortgage and the lender couldn’t care less about repayment, things have seriously gone off the rails. 

As I watched Inside Job I couldn’t help but think about this country’s dogged pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. I would go so far as to argue that Bin Laden didn’t cause anywhere near the amount of damage to America that the “Wall Street” gang did.

When you tally up the total cost of: the invasion of two countries (Iraq and Afghanistan), thousands of lives lost and the billions of dollars this country spent, you would think some of these folks would be looking over their shoulders.

At the end of "Inside Job," Robert Gnaizda lists various groups that should be prosecuted. When asked why this has not been done, he answered: "It's a Wall Street government!"

Now that is a devastating point.

I guess if you aim at the wrong target you shouldn’t be surprised if hitting it doesn’t do any good.

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