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Well, at least they got the story right.

I'll call you back later, I have to save the Earth

I'll call you back later, I have to save the Earth

In about 100 minutes they managed to explain a very complicated series of rapid-fire events in an understandable, and even entertaining way. The writing was engaging. The acting was great. And so forth.

But ultimately, HBO’s “Too Big To Fail”… fails… because it punts on the whole “blame” issue.

Why with the blame? Well, put simply, so we don’t do this shit again.

Yes, yes yes. The bankers were greedy idiots: hard-headed and childish zillionaires who nearly brought down our entire economic system because they were dumb enough to believe (or to convince themselves) that “real estate only goes up”.

(I mean, really? Real Estate always goes up? Never down? Really? It still boggles my mind that this is even a question. Gah.)

“Too Big To Fail” does a decent job of casting that concept in it’s proper light: a pale illumination of disdain.

Where HBO’s “Too Big To Fail” falls short is ONLY blaming the bankers.

This is a huge, historical mistake.

TBTF completely dismisses Congress and multiple decades of terrible, terrible decisions on everything from Freddie & Fannie, to the FHA, to the CRA. Instead, the film chooses to serve up the “de-regulation” canard in whispy, vague intro scenes (are housing quotas “regulation” or “de-regulation”?).

What’s more, “TBTF” completely lets consumers (us) off the hook.

In this case it took THREE to tango: 1) The greedy, bankers 2) the maybe-well-intentioned but ultimately bumbling and hurtful bureaucrats who first incentivized, and supported those bankers, and 3) the millions of willing homeowners who were also greedy, and bumbling, and now are whining a lot.

We can argue “chicken-egg-chicken” here, but anyone who knows anything about this mess knows that, although the bankers deserve all the disdain we can muster, the other two major players deserve just as much attention.

But “Too Big To Fail” isn’t about those other 2 legs of the stool. It’s about the bankers, and their interaction w/ Paulson, and the slap-dash series of events that took place in the fall of 2008. So it’s understandable that it didn’t dive deep into, say, specific legislation, or some poor, dumb family caught trying to flip some houses.

If “Too Big To Fail” had stayed on topic, then it would be fine. But they didn’t.

Understandably, though, they did try to explain what was going on.

In one painfully obvious scene (putting the 4th wall in much peril) Paulson and his advisors “talk through” how the shit actually got into the fan.

It’s in this scene where “TBTF” willfully ignores The Government’s role in encouraging the build-up, and at the same time washes away any homeowners’ responsibility with the old “American Dream” chestnut; all in about 20 seconds of screen time. This is a damn shame, because they really didn’t have to say much here to be accurate. But instead they chose to perpetuate the fallacy that it was ALL the fault of the bankers.

(Remember kids: bankers are evil, politicians are just there to help, and we consumers can do no wrong.)

The problem here is that, it’s movies like this, about crises like this, that will actually help shape history. And it’s in this little scene that HBO’s “Too Big To Fail” essentially absolves the other 2 legs of the stool of any blame.

Unforgivable.

And what’s extra frustrating is “TBTF” came so darn close to being nonpartisan. All they had to do here, in this short little scene, was be ACCURATE.

= Accuracy FAIL.

Instead, they chose pitchforks and populism. And they just might get away with it because the Bankers are, in fact, pretty darn evil.

So, ultimately, “Too Big To Fail” ends up being a love letter to Hank Paulson. Does he deserve it? Maybe so. But along the way they missed a simple, and important opportunity to help educate the public about what really happened. And why.

It’s a near-miss. Which sucks, because it’s not a bad movie. In fact it’s a pretty darn good movie. But as a historical document, HBO’s “Too Big To Fail” will be doomed to repeats.

Yeah. I just wrote that.

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This bill failed because the American People were calling their representatives at least 99-1 against this bailout.

Any bailout.

And it’s simply because they don’t quite understand this. Neither the problem, nor the proposed solutions.

And it’s not surprising. I watch CNBC all day, read the Economist every week, and I still don’t understand all of it.

It’s not the public’s fault.

Wall Street has been feeding them a string of lies for years now, and so has DC. It is a classic Chicken Little situation.

They’ve been saying for weeks that if we don’t act tomorrow, the Universe will implode.

But it hasn’t.

If it was so important, the Democrats should’ve passed this bill by themselves.

But they didn’t.

If it was so urgent, they could’ve worked over the Jewish Holiday.

But they couldn’t.

So it’s not crazy that the American People aren’t quite grasping the import, here.

Despite the distrust of DC, the individual, respective representatives could be of help explaining this.

Because, of course, everyone hates every politician… except for their politician.

But it seems they’re too busy insulting each other.

It is undeniable that McCain and Obama missed a chance to win this election when they refused, for some reason, to even half-heartedly address this issue in the debates. They could’ve explained at least a bit of it. They could’ve at least imparted a sense of urgency.

But it seems they were too busy not losing the debate.

You know, it’s not the political ineptitude that’s so surprising here. It’s how long it continues to go on.

Right now fingers are being pointed, wagged, and extended in all directions.
Angry fingers. Righteous fingers.

Who knew what, when?!
Who said something?!
Who actually tried to do something?!

Well, in all directions except one.

Inward.

Turns out the very people who are currently trying to “fix” this financial clusterfuck… are the very ones that caused this financial clusterfuck.

And can we really expect the Government and their benefactors to investigate themselves?

Sure, they’ll pretend to. But it’s all empty gesture. Sans substance. Theatre.

But the truth is out there. And we can thank our meth addict of a 24-7 news cycle for that.

So where are the clips?
Where are the told-ya-so soundbytes?
Where’s the proof?

Don’t hold your breath.

The emperor has no clothes, a small dick and a bad herpes outbreak.

The Government teed it up, and Wall Street knocked it out of the park.

But let’s not waste time by pointing fingers.
It doesn’t matter how this happened, it only matters what we do next.
Let’s just agree that everyone screwed up, and move forward.

It would be almost funny if it weren’t the exact polar opposite of funny.

Government changed the rules, and then acts surprised as the market finds ways to stay in business, and even profit.

But, really. Can a white knight in shining armor really save the princess if he was the one kidnapped her, raped her, stole her money, and left her for dead?

He’ll sure try.