So I finally saw “Inside Job.” I actually thought that in terms of giving a sense of the crisis it did a darn good job. It gave a fair sense of what CDOs were and the role they played. It gave a decent description of CDS. Its didn’t really get into the concept of Synthetic CDOs and SIVs, but that would have been pretty amazing to pull off in a Hollywood film.
They didn’t really dig deeply into the fundamental “Other People’s Money” issue – that you can’t repossess strippers and cocaine, but they did mention it. It was in a moralizing, look how bad these guys are way, but still the fact that high levels of consumption create a fundamental problem in credit management were acknowledged.
The thing is – and this is what is weird/interesting about this whole thing – is that I am on the side of the truly bad guys in this movie. That is Larry Summers, Alan Greenspan, Paul Rubin, etc. Though, I don’t think about him much anymore Eliot Spitzer was like my enemy of enemies.
I think that fact that the film clearly gives a pro-Spitzer, anti-deregulationist slant leaves a bad taste in people mouth.
However, the most honest response to that is not trying to denigrate the filmmakers but the Caplanesque – “yeah, but still.” That is, everything you are saying is true, but I just have other reasons for believing what I believe that I think outweigh your argument.
Life is not a Manichean struggle between the forces of light and dark. Issues are genuinely confusing and good people can come to different answers.
That doesn’t mean that we should be satisfied with disagreement. Honest, truth-seeking people can never agree to disagree. However, it doesn’t mean that conscious intentional deceit on the part of our intellectual opponents should be our explanation for failure to reach agreement.