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"It's All Relative"

Wednesday, April 06, 2011 By James Kwak, The Baseline Scenario | Op-Ed
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I finally saw Inside Job at a friend’s house tonight. I don’t have anything original to say about it. I thought it was a very, very good movie. There were lots of little things that weren’t quite right (many of which were probably conscious decisions to simplify details for the sake of comprehension), but I don’t think any of them were substantively misleading. I wouldn’t have made some emphases or drawn some connections that Ferguson did. For example, the parallel between the rise of finance and the decline of manufacturing at the end felt a little shallow to me, not because they’re not related, but because the causality could run down any number of paths. But everyone would tell the story a little differently. Overall I thought it was both a relatively accurate narrative of what happened and a compelling explanation of why it happened.

My favorite scene was when the interviewer (Ferguson, I assume) asked Scott Talbott, the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, about the “very high” compensation in the financial sector. Talbott said something like (I may not have the words quite right), “I wouldn’t agree with ‘very high.’ It’s all relative.”

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"It's All Relative"

Wednesday, April 06, 2011 By James Kwak, The Baseline Scenario | Op-Ed
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

I finally saw Inside Job at a friend’s house tonight. I don’t have anything original to say about it. I thought it was a very, very good movie. There were lots of little things that weren’t quite right (many of which were probably conscious decisions to simplify details for the sake of comprehension), but I don’t think any of them were substantively misleading. I wouldn’t have made some emphases or drawn some connections that Ferguson did. For example, the parallel between the rise of finance and the decline of manufacturing at the end felt a little shallow to me, not because they’re not related, but because the causality could run down any number of paths. But everyone would tell the story a little differently. Overall I thought it was both a relatively accurate narrative of what happened and a compelling explanation of why it happened.

My favorite scene was when the interviewer (Ferguson, I assume) asked Scott Talbott, the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, about the “very high” compensation in the financial sector. Talbott said something like (I may not have the words quite right), “I wouldn’t agree with ‘very high.’ It’s all relative.”