Blood Money

I recently rented the movie, “Margin Call.”  The storyline, simply put, is about one investment firm’s decisions in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis.

This is definitely one of those movies that kept me thinking long after it was over.

The how and why of what happened doesn’t seem to be as much about understanding the technical or financial details of the crisis as about understanding the motivations, circumstances, lifestyles, personalities, aspirations, and situations that the players found themselves in. 

While it can be said that the financial crisis was about greed, somehow this movie portrays something that is different from just greed. 

The character flaws spanned a range of personalities, pressures, situations, ages and experience levels.  The magnetic appeal of making large amounts of money quickly is hard for many to resist.  Even aside from material things, it can be surprising what money will buy, e.g., loyalty, a fall guy, a lifestyle, compliance, etc.  From that perspective, it’s not hard to see how this could easily happen again. 

It’s sad to see what people rationalize doing to sustain the money flow that they/we have grown to become dependent on or accustomed to. The common mantra is:  “You might as well take the money.  If you don’t, someone else will.”

It’s about sustaining a lifestyle that some have grown to expect or feel entitled to.  It is also about an economy that isn’t based on a real value exchange.

Rather than describing this self-described thriller as “frightening” or “sad”, it is actually “sobering”….”surprising, yet not”…”disturbing, but also the reality” of human nature. 

To me it is about Blood Money and what we sacrifice to get it.

This is definitely a movie that I would recommend seeing, though I think we will have to wait a very long time to see a satisfying resolving Sequel.  Would you agree?

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