“The creation of the mortgage bond market, a decade earlier, had extended Wall Street into a place it had never before been: the debts of ordinary Americans.” – Jared Vennett (played by Ryan Gosling), The Big Short (2015)
Along with anothersuperblyauthentic movie Margin Call(2011), The Big Shortprovides a vivid look into the rigged, Darwinian, ruthlessly exploitative circus popularly known as “Wall Street.” For decades, ever since the greatdepression, this industry slumbered along, sedatelyproviding financial services to Americans. As always, it alsowas a venue for legalized gambling, but the number of players were limited, the winnings were relatively meager, and the opportunities for corrupt manipulations had not yet been multiplied by new trading technologies. Back then, the seedier aspects of Wall Street were overshadowed by the many vitalservices the industry provided. All of that changed starting around 1980.
In 1985, the financial sector earned less than 16% of… Read More