Tag: Finance

2016, Movies

ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail (2016, Steve James)

This film is about the only bank – the only bank! – to be indicted for mortgage fraud in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. It tells the story of a bank in New York City’s Chinatown which detected loan fraud, fired the employee responsible, reported the fraud to their regulator, fired additional employees …

2015, Movies

The Big Short (2015, Adam McKay)

Let’s get this out of the way: this is not a perfect movie. It has what you might call ‘formal’ flaws; inconsistencies in style, in tone and in perspective. It is meta in a way that you might find obnoxious. But I think it might be the single most important film made about the 2008 …

2011, Books, Non-Fiction

The Violence of Financial Capitalism (2011) by Christian Marazzi

It has been a long time since I’ve read a book this dense. A long time. Maybe grad school, maybe in the years after grad school when I tried to re-read or finish lots of books that I felt I hadn’t spent enough time with in school. Either way, I don’t think my brain is …

2013, Movies

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, Martin Scorsese)

This is basically the Goodfellas of stockbroker films. It’s got so many things in common with his earlier masterpiece that I don’t really want to go into it. (I feel like going into it would take too long and, frankly, I am worried I wouldn’t do the most complete job.) Scorsese has created another brilliant …

1999, Books, Non-Fiction

Millioniare (1999, Janet Gleeson)

This is a brief, cursory biography as these things go. It’s certainly interesting but the predominant feeling I am left with after finishing is “I want to know more.” Gleeson says she didn’t want to get bogged down in financial details to make this accessible to the general reader but the problem is that her …

2012, Movies

The Queen of Versailles (2012, Lauren Greenfield)

This is a near-perfect analogy for what happened to the US (and world) economy in 2008: David Siegel had lots of money. However, he wanted more. So he mortgaged what he had to expand his business. Then the housing crisis hit and he lost a lot; not everything, but a lot.

2009, Movies

Capitalism: A Love Story (2009, Michael Moore)

Full disclosure: I don’t like Michael Moore. I agree with him on many, many things, but I absolutely can’t stand the way he manipulates his audience. I am a political philosophy major and so a lack of clarity of concepts makes me insane. So…

2011, Politics, Society

Oh Stephen, you’ve done it again

Today it was announced that there would be a significant number of extra seats added to parliament, in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. It is estimated that these seats will add $11 million to the cost of a single election, not to mention that added cost of MP and staff salaries, which will probably be …

Politics, Society


These security and lower taxes types are just ridiculous because security costs more than social programs. Maybe this wasn’t true two hundred years ago. Maybe it cost more to pay and support doctors to travel to remote places than it did to keep a standing army, but it doesn’t work that way any more. As …

Economics, Society

Debt and such

Disclaimer: I am not partisan. If I had my dual citizenship, and had to vote, I wouldn’t vote for either Republicans or Democrats. I think the Democrats are almost as bad, and as much of a machine, as the Republicans. It’s a myth that Republicans are fiscally responsible. The debt trebled under Reagan. It didn’t …

2008, Politics, Society


In the Star today: Obama has raised $234,754,081 Clinton has raised $189,097,053 McCain has raised $76,691,826 As of March, all candidates had raised $850,000,000 (so it’s now higher). We are talking about nearly a billion dollars. It is impossible to imagine (in your mind) that many pennies (it is beyond the abilities of human imagination). …

2003, Movies, Personal

Valentine’s Day & The Corporation (2003, Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbot)

In the CD player: nothing cuz it’s far too early. I watched The Corporation yesterday. Interesting and entertaining documentary. I don’t necessarily agree with the filmmakers about everything, but it was worth watching. Personally, I don’t think direct democracy will help us much (it will certainly make it harder to protect rights.). It seems to …