I took a bunch of clients to see The Big Short early last month. Great group of people, great time, great movie. Smart, funny, insightful, wicked, insidious, it did as good a job as anything in any medium in explaining the housing bubble and ensuing chaos.
In the long run, though, The Big Short was ultimately frustrating and infuriating. In so entertainingly showing us the how and whys of what happened, the utter lack of a ‘happy’ ending was – while realistic – shattering. At least to me, sitting in a theater among those … well, let me put it this way – a few people got rich, millions lost their homes, the guys that perpetuated it all were bailed out and moved on to new investments and new bonuses. Fairness, never mind justice, was not part of the equation.
I was sitting with a few of the still millions of Americans dealing with the continuing ramifications of, according to the movie (very persuasively), an enormous scam. As the credits rolled we were left with Steve Carell’s scathing indictment of Wall Street and Ryan Gosling’s slick, sarcastic denouement … and nothing else.
No solutions, no ‘at least the bad guys were held accountable,’ no ‘things changed and this can never happen again…’, nothing.
Still, I think it’s important – for everyone – to know what happened, and how it happened. Then, to file it away, remember but bury the righteous indignation, anger, frustration because – as The Big Short so clearly shows us – it has no impact whatever on . . .anything.
That;s not quite true, all that does have an impact in foreclosure defense – it gets in the way. My clients and I are not going to undo anything coming out of the greatest, most devastating financial meltdowns of our lifetimes in a Connecticut court, regardless of our anger.
All we can – and will – do is use everything available under the law to do everything possible to get the best solution. We’ll leave the angst and revenge fantasies to Hollywood, I understand they have several movies coming out in the next few months where Wall Street get theirs.
I plan to be there with more clients when George Clooney and Julia Roberts take down the Street. It might not mean much for my practice, but it will feel good.