As Paulson says with regret in the film, that program had a worse approval rating with the public than torture. People were asking, "Why were those fat cats being given money while I am losing my house?"
The Wolf of Wall Street did not create or endorse the corrupt culture and lifestyle it depicts, but simply pulls if from the shadows and puts it on display. If this inspires people to follow Belfort's example, the issue isn't the film.
Killing Them Softly does a wonderful job of creating a realistic, lived-in world in the post-Katrina wreckage of New Orleans, without a lot of frills or even much music. While it is no fast-paced bulletfest, when the violence comes, it's scary, gory, and brutal, as it should be.
People are generally classified as expenses on the income statement and liabilities on the balance sheet -- not as an investable asset. Thus, when CEOs seek to increase profit, they cut costs -- like people -- rather than investing in assets -- like people -- that can appreciate.
In protecting Wall Street after the 2008 crash, the executive branch violated its core constitutional duty. It is now clear that there are virtually no limits on the magnitude of the crimes that the nation's most powerful private actors can commit with impunity.
As it is, we all have a decent chance of muddling through. Not very satisfying considering our expectations for change we could believe in. But in light of how truly rotten underlying conditions turned out to be, it could easily and always get worse.
Tim, Tim, Tim. You've been throwing around a lot of scary words like "disaster" and "hardship" and you seem a little tense. Don't freak out. You're a babe in the woods when it comes to financial hardship, so let me guide you through this.
Wall Street should recognize it is in its long-term interests to work with government to curb Wall Street excesses. The actions of a few bad apples -- if they go unpunished -- can put in peril confidence in the entire system.
People interviewed in Inside Job claim that finance professionals deserve their money. But can someone rationally argue that someone earning $30 million/year works 1,000 times harder than someone earning $30,000/year?
Could Tuesday be Turkey Day for the financial markets? I think there's a good chance we see some serious "dirty laundry" aired from the Fed which could increase volatility in what normally should be a quiet holiday shortened week.