Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Big Short

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Big Short

Article excerpt

THE BIG SHORT

Adam McKay (Paramount, 2015)

It's a message that Pope Francis has often repeated: If greed is at the heart of our economy, we face only ruin. This as good as summarizes The Big Short, based on the 2010 Michael Lewis book of the same name, which tells the story of the few people who saw the collapse of the U.S. housing market coming--and bet on it to turn a profit.

As the financial concepts at the heart of the plot can be difficult for the average viewer to grasp, director Adam McKay often has actors break the fourth wall to directly explain to the audience in plain language terms like credit default swap and collateralized debt obligation. This makes it easier to follow along as Deutsche Bank trader Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), cynical hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell), neurologist-turned-trader Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale), and ex-Wall Streeter Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt), a begrudging mentor to two young "garage band" investors, all catch on to the unsustainability of the housing market. …

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