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  • Publicado : 19 de dezembro de 2012
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This film is as gripping as any thriller. Aided by some fascinating interviews, Ferguson lays out an awful story. In the 1980s, the markets and financial services were deregulated, and the drivingforce for this liberalisation was Alan Greenspan, formidable chairman of the US federal reserve board from 1987 to 2006. Banks and loan companies were freer to gamble with their depositors' money; theywere themselves freer to borrow more; they were free to offer investors dizzyingly complex financial instruments, with income streams from different debts bundled up, including high-interest homeloans offered to high-risk borrowers – the so-called "sub-prime" market that offered mouthwateringly high returns.
The good times rolled. The banks ballooned. They offered their traders mind-blowingbonuses to encourage risk-taking chutzpah, corporate loyalty, and a neurotically driven pursuit of profit. Ferguson argues that crucially, the banks were allowed to insure against bad debts with creditdefault swaps – any number of these insurance policies could be purchased against one particular risk. Chillingly, the banks now had a vested interest in selling insanely risky products, as theythemselves were lavishly insured with these swaps.
Perhaps the most sensational aspect of this film is Ferguson's contention that the crash corrupted the discipline of economics itself. Distinguishedeconomists from America's Ivy League universities were drafted in by banks to compose reports sycophantically supporting reckless deregulation. They were massively paid for these consultancies. The banksbought the prestige of the academics, and their universities' prestige, too. Ferguson speaks to many of these economists, who clearly thought they were going to be interviewed as wry, dispassionateobservers. It is really something to see the expression of shock, outrage and fear on their faces as they realise they're in the dock. One splutters with vexation; another gives vent to a ripe Freudian...
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