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They're often found in some of the biggest blockbuster hits about the financial industry. Hollywood has a long history of sensationalizing the industry and the professionals who take part in it. While these types of movies definitely offer high entertainment value, they don't necessarily provide an accurate depiction of what it's really like to be a professional in the world of finance.
Instead, they tend to provide a skewed view of the financial sector. But there are big-screen movies that actually try to show how life really is for financial professionals and their clients. Here, we take a more realistic approach that writers and directors explore through documentary film. For current finance professionals looking to increase their skills, or for aspiring professionals looking to break into the industry, finance documentaries are a great way to gain insight and knowledge.
The following is a list of 10 of the most important documentaries that should be on your must-watch list. The movie won the Oscar for the best documentary picture. Broken down into five parts, the film takes the viewer through the U. It begins by highlighting how the economy was set up to fail, how the bubble grew between and , how the crisis struck in , who was accountable for the crisis, before wrapping up the aftermath.
This is one of the most important documentaries for finance professionals. Through an understanding of the history of one of the largest financial crises, it's possible to learn from past mistakes to foresee when something like this can happen again and prevent it from happening. The film "Trader" follows trader Paul Tudor Jones, showing him at his best as well as his worst. Jones, a hedge fund manager , accurately predicted the economic downturn based on both intuition and Elliott Wave graphs.
While Jones is extremely intelligent, he's also extremely superstitious. This highlights the fact that many people within the investment finance industry rely on luck just as much as they do on skill and analytics. Sometimes it takes guts along with analysis to make the correct investment decision. The documentary also follows Jones as he donates his time and money to help New York City children graduate from high school. This underscores the importance of giving back to the community, rather than succumbing to greed.
Watch "25 Million Pounds" to learn the true story of Nick Leeson , a British trader who started his career as a Morgan Stanley clerk and ended breaking the law as a rogue trader who brought down Barings, an old British bank. This bank held money for the high-powered elite, including the Queen herself. The true story was so compelling that it also inspired the film "Rogue Trader," which starred Ewan McGregor.
Through interviews with Leeson in the early s, "25 Million Pounds" allows finance professionals a chance to peer into the mind of someone who dealt with dishonest traders and even committed fraud himself. These funds injected cash into the American banking system, ensuring that none of the largest institutions would fail. While some argue that the bailout that saved the large American banks from collapsing was necessary, others counter, saying the program subverted free enterprise and capitalism.
Understanding the intricacies of the American banking crisis gives finance professionals a better understanding of the interwoven economy and how the free market reacts to a crisis. Finance professionals interested in the complete financial history of the world should definitely put "The Ascent of Money" on their list of documentaries to watch. Historian Niall Ferguson takes viewers through a complete history of the financial world, from the ancient city of Babylon all the way to the global financial crisis.
Understanding the deep financial history of the world gives finance professionals a greater perspective and understanding of how the finance world operates. Financial documentaries like the ones on this list help give aspiring and current professionals perspective and a better understanding of finances and the economy.
This film highlights the birth of globalization. Similar to the deep history highlighted in the previous film, this documentary delves deeper into the beginning of globalization by first taking the viewer into Russia and behind the Iron Curtain. The film continues its journey through the end of the 20th century when deregulation became prevalent.
Through an understanding of the European Union's rescue of floundering countries such as Greece and Portugal, the film gives finance professionals food for thought about the benefits and drawbacks of bailing out entire countries through debt lending. Similar to "Inside Job" and Frontline's "Breaking the Bank," these documentaries help highlight the financial crisis, the largest recession since the Great Depression. For finance professionals, "The Warning" shows that it's possible to foresee a financial crisis and work to keep it from happening.
This film takes a look at the financial crisis, but it does so from a different angle. While "Freakonomics" isn't strictly a movie about the financial industry itself, it brings to light a lot of interesting theories about why people behave the way they do. By taking seemingly random data points, the documentary shows how causality and correlation can be made between the two. For finance professionals, it's extremely important to understand what drives people.
CFA Society. We're Still Tracking Every Penny. Congressional Budget Office. Meltdown The 4-part documentary from Al Jazeera released this year is one of the most talked about documentaries on the financial crisis. Meltdown takes you through all of the facets of the crisis, but places a particular emphasis on the human impact, and reviews some of the civil unrest that grew out of the discontent that the crisis left behind.
How the Banks Never Lose This one takes you over the other side of the ocean to get a glimpse at the conditions that led up to the banking crisis in the UK, where a similar story was unfolding alongside the US banking crisis.
Of course we are blessed with hindsight, but looking back it is at once appalling, mystifying, and embarrassing what was going on, and it seems to leave little wonder that a crisis was the logical conclusion. Breaking the Bank We've got Lehman's and Bear Stearns on the list here, but another key bank which actually survived that played a pivotal role through the crisis was Bank of America.
This documentary follows the actions of Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, and the events that went on at the Treasury that prevented the collapse of the entire banking system. The core cause of the crisis was really an unsustainable explosion in the growth of debt and credit.
For a time debt was super cheap and super easy to get, so of course asset prices were sent to unsustainable levels, unsustainable industries were propped up, and people borrowed well beyond their means. Of course, because of this the recovery from this crisis has and will continue to be hard because people and governments still need to get back to more sustainable levels of borrowing.
Debtocracy The last 3 documentaries on this list are not about the crisis, but are well worth a look for additional context. This one in particular talks about the Greek debt crisis that has precipitated in the wake of the financial crisis, and which has caused considerable contagion and escalation of economic distress in Europe, and much more water has yet to pass under the bridge.
Prisoners of Debt: Inside the Global Banking Crisis This is not about the banking crisis of , no this is about the 's third world debt crisis. It bears stark resemblance to today's banking, and of course Sovereign debt crises. I'm sure most people who watch this documentary will think "why didn't we learn?
So to be able to participate in the debate it is well worth taking a look into what went on all the way back then. But also, in terms of the scale of the crisis and the impact, the crash is the closest comparison to the crash. Thanks to www.