The Big Short

Dark comedy, satire, disaster, detective, true story drama or a character (or lack thereof) study…before I watched it, I saw The Big Short described with all these terms. After seeing it, I guess how you would describe it would depend on how much money you lost.

Some lost millions, some lost hundreds of thousands, and some lost their life savings. My heart broke for these people. If there are people you know well, your heart might still be aching. My brother had just retired. Many retirement accounts took a brutal beating.

I’m almost glad that this movie took so long to get to the big screen. I used to hear my parents and their friends talk about the Big Depression. I guess our generation will eventually talk about The Big Short.v1.bTsxMTIwNzA2ODtqOzE3MDkyOzIwNDg7ODAwOzEyNDg

You see, the recession of 2008 was not a fluke. Just because most of us either did not know or couldn’t articulate the cause doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. I have been a Real Estate Broker for 45 years. I also had a Mortgage Company for a short time, very short. I’m not saying that all mortgage companies are crooks but before the recession did you ever look around the parking lot at a decent sized mortgage company? In some areas Bentleys along with the exotic sports cars, were not uncommon. How do you do that without any real education requirements?

But, I digress. My favorite saying has always been, “you can’t legislate affordability.” I believe in the depths of my soul that just because someone tells you, you can afford to drive a Mercedes, doesn’t mean your bank account validates that.

Let’s step back a decade. Things were humming. Politicians were making decisions that would affect the financial future of our great country. Wall Street and the big banks were making big bucks. Their CEO’s and other upper level management were riding on a high. Everybody was making money and leveraging, for many, their biggest asset, their home. There were even real estate/mortgage guru’s making a fortune showing us how to leverage our homes to buy more homes. Yeah! We own 10 houses, and they’re all hocked to the hilt! But, we have no reserves to carry those 10 houses in case something happens to us. Hmmm, if we thought about it at all, it was to think that something might happen to us, death, disability but no one really believed that the Housing Market would collapse.

The Big Short is an expose of an era, an event. I guarantee that it will get a little technical but I also guarantee that if you don’t “get it” the first time, you’ll watch it again. You need to so you can at least know enough to hold Washington accountable to hold Wall Street and the banking system accountable! You can afford to do NO LESS!

The Big Short was based on a true story, written by Michael Lewis about real people. The acting was superb: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Amazingly creative, Adam McKay wrote the screenplay and directed.  I just read today that the hero of the movie, Dr. Michael J. Burry, MD finally sold off some of his banking holdings this year. Still a hero.

I will BUY this movie. I have movies that I buy for different reasons. It is always for the way they make me feel. I love a good laugh. I love a good cry. I especially love to learn. The Big Short is a movie from which you learn.

Unless, you don’t have a checking account and keep all your money in gold under your mattress, you need to see The Big Short. It is rated R, besides your kids won’t understand it anyway. Once you figure it out, you can explain it to them in a much simpler version! Let me know what you think at chastings@rockcliff.com.