Takeaways from the Great Recession

Now, moments of clarity when I started to understand a bit more about the housing crisis.


Mood: ominous clouds on a highway.

I watched The Big Short last night, on Thanksgiving ironically enough. Why ironic? Well, if you haven’t seen the movie (which is also morbidly humorous), it’s about the housing crisis. You know, that period where 8 million people lost their jobs / homes and everyone who previously had either trusted the banks or was unaware of them, saw the government and Wall Street as one in the same – and they wanted their hands out of their stuff. They were sick of being pawns.

Watching Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and one of the guys from American Horror Story in The Big Short, you want them to succeed and “show those banks.” They’re the heroes here, right? At one point someone I was watching with said they couldn’t tell if we were rooting for Ryan or not – “is he one of the good guys?”

It’s hard to tell because it’s purposely confusing. I hesitate to use Forbes as a source here, but this guy doesn’t seem to mind laying out how we, majority of Americans making less than x amount every year, are letting ourselves be played by the banks, meaning the government is also played by the banks.

As long as ‘banks’ convince the public they’re right, they control the government. I use the term bank loosely, because in reality it’s just a breadcrumb trail on a windy path – there’s enough players that no one can blame anyone but “the banks” and “the government.” Which are…? What? The names? Businesses basically have the same rights as you and me, meaning if enough people are playing the game, they can put the burden on old Incorporated® and she* will be responsible for covering any losses. Conveniently, this protects everyone else, because after all, they’re separate.

*Obviously, Incorporated® is a female, because it takes all of the critical attention and shit of the men behind her, without any of the benefits. Also, all of her decisions are made for her.

So, were we rooting for Ryan? No. Because you aren’t Ryan, or Brad, or Steve.

Ryan, Brad, and Steve got paid millions of dollars (both in the movie and in real life) to entertainingly explain how people profited off of the illegal, deceiving acts of other people.

Unfortunately, having a number of people like the characters in the movie screw over the sleazes in the big banks didn’t stop the recession. It didn’t stop them from coming back either.

With that going on and who knows, maybe a student loan bubble looming, is it possible to be anything but cynical?

Apparently, because somehow, I’m still optimistic. Practical, skeptical, and sarcastic, sure, but always coming back to the positive. Depending on the circumstance, that roll-around can take more or less time, but it seems to be the default I come back to. Given the current state of things, that’s an asset I intend to share with whoever finds it.

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