“Loans for the life you deserve”

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Argentina, films, Iceland, USA

Last night we watched the 2010 movie Inside Job which was not about some small bank robbery, but an analysis the financial crisis of 2008. 

To listen to the mumbling of distinguished economics professors such as ******** ********* as they tried to explain their actions, and explain reports they wrote such as ‘Financial Stability in Iceland’ would be amusing in other circumstances. [I have removed the name to avoid any legal ramifications.]

What was really depressing was that the some of the very people who lead us down the deregulated garden path to financial meltdown, and presumably walked away with their personal fortunes intact, are back advising President Obama. 

Only a few hours before I had been reading Sweet Money by Ernesto Mallo, published in Argentina in 2007 as Delincuente argentino and come across this passage proving that crime fiction can usually be found ahead of the game. 

Banks used to look like prisons; now they look like a cross between a boutique and a brothel. The walls are covered with posters showing young men and women, smiling and prosperous, offering package deals with bombastic names, that include bank accounts, credit cards, loans for the life you deserve.

Everything carefully designed to neatly package and tie up the customer. The deviousness here is so obvious that even the guy who designed the poster should be put in jail. 

  1. Maxine says:

    I remember that passage! Very good. Unfortunately it is still rife and there are plenty of stupid individuals around who are only too happy to take loans they can never pay off – and stupid banks to loan the money. (Isn’t it crazy that you can’t get a loan for a mortgage but you can easily rack up overdrafts, credit-card debt and bank loans for nonspecific purposes?)

    I watched the two Robert Peston shows “the end of the party” – their main thesis was that banks and individuals are all so hooked on borrowing that they’ve all lost the plot.

  2. Maxine says:

    PS I’d like to see Inside Job – how did you see it – live TV (if so is it on catch-up), DVD or other?

  3. I was only looking this up as you wrote this, this morning! I missed it on iplayer and now intend to get the DVD. Tweets observed during the recent UK airing were enlightening and I saw a lot of frustration and rage out there. This one is a ‘must see’.

  4. Norman says:

    Maxine- Inside Job was on BBC2 I recorded it a few weeks ago.
    But Rhian comments that it is no longer on iplayer, but you can get it on DVD. Annoyingly my recording went off before the very end, and we missed the credits so I might get it in the New Year to watch again.

    Rhian-great minds, I agree this is a “must see”.

  5. kathy d. says:

    Well, the financial situation over here in the States has gone from bad to worse. People who have been economic advisers to the White House since the beginning of the administration were contributors to Wall Street’s greed and chicanery over the population, and advised the president and his cabinet to bail out the banks and other financial institutions. Trillions of dollars have gone to them, while a just-released government report says that 1 out of 2 Americans are poor or low-income. And there is the largest gap between the haves and haves-not than ever.

    The Census Bureau reports that the median income here is $26,000 a year. And 49 million people, including 16 million children frequently go to bed hungry here. Food stamp allotments were just reduced in spite of the hungry people, and rising food prices.

    Jobs are not forthcoming, and if they are, they’re low wage. Thousands of college graduates cannot find jobs and have huge debts.. Middle-aged or older people who have lost jobs are getting jobs that pay 1/2 – 2/3 of their former pay, if they’re lucky enough to get hired. More people are having their homes foreclosed. Fifty million people don’t have health insurance. Medicare and Medicaid are up for cutbacks and so on.

    And forget dental care! That’s been cut back all over the country. Many of my friends don’t get dental care because they can’t afford it.

    Yes, it’s getting tougher over here. The middle-class is vanishing. I know that over there, you’re all too familiar with these issues.

  6. Maxine says:

    I’ve ordered it from Amazon btw, Norman- won’t get it for xmas but soon after (maybe it is not the most appropriate viewing for xmas day! But better than most of what the tv channels seem to consider people want to watch on a holiday). It was only about £5.

  7. Maxine says:

    PS – Kathy the same here but at least we have a welfare system, so I suppose we should be grateful.

  8. Norman says:

    Kathy-as Maxine says we do just still have a welfare system over here, but my confidence in how long that will be the case has been shaken. I think the governments of Lord Salisbury and his nephew Arthur Balfour in the 1890s and early 1900s had less millionaires, and were more in touch with the reality of ordinary people’s lives than the present coalition cabinet.
    What is so frightening about the pictures we see on our TV screens about the tent cities in the USA is that many of those people had middle class salaries only a few months before.

    Maxine-Inside Job is a bit too depressing and definitely calculated to raise the blood pressure so not Christmas Day viewing.

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