Netflix gives this movie – Margin Call- 56% rating. Rotten Tomatoes, a review website, rates it 87%. This is closure to “my” truth. Probably no good folks are watching – Margin Call or are they intimidated by the name of the movie?
Firstly, the movie does not require the viewers to possess any knowledge of finance or economics. It needs just a sense that if your money is in someone else’s hands it will not come back to you if some of their shit hits their own fan. It’s often said, the financial market runs on fear and greed. I disagree.
The movie – Margin Call – is nothing about technicalities of trades. It’s about people who buy and sell horseshit packaged as some high flying words. It’s about people who know “it’s going to crash someday” but keep mum. It’s about people who are a pack of wolves with a pack of lies. It’s about people in one team and one jersey and one goal. The game works best till nothing is moved or disturbed.
Then one day there enters an unknown quantity. The character is uninitiated, unbrainwashed. Worse, and this is for the trade, the character is not even a financial guy. He is a rocket scientist, really.
The movie shows that except people who are low down the hierarchy, most higher ups don’t know or understand numbers. They all want to know things in “Plain English.” The topmost brass even says, “speak to me as if I’m a child or a dog.” (paraphrase mine) This is not bad. They demand to know things at its simplest. Contrast this with fools who give them money after listening to jargons. No doubt they are looked down with contempt.
The movie shows a business of buying and selling duds. Imagine circulating duds and reaping brokerage. And then one day they sell off all the duds. Imagine people who bought duds on that day which they can’t sell now. So, in a way, the company saved itself by using people under them to sell duds and then sacrificing the same people to protect the masters. No doubt, the people laid off got millions, but spare a thought for people who together paid billions but are then left holding the duds. This can be you.
The movie also shows how people tell truths and yet the underlying intention is bad. Like, one speaks truths to the other and then other turns around and lie to the rest. Why? Because, “he was pretty straightforward”, “I liked his openness”, “he spoke like he’s a genuine person”. Bullshit!