Let's just say if there actually were an Academy Award category for horror film, Inside Job probably would have dominated it. But, of course, there's not, and instead, the film -- which highlighted some of the most egregious crimes of the banking industry -- took home the award for Best Documentary. Director Charles Ferguson used his acceptance speech to deliver pointed criticism of Wall Street and the financial industry:
Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that's wrong.
The film makes numerous disturbing claims about the 2008 financial crisis. But are these claims accurate? Let's take a look ...
Business Insider discussed some of the most egregious claims on their website this morning and whether they are true. Here are five that they deemed accurate:
The industry has made more money since the crisis: How disturbing is it that after a crisis of that magnitude and after having to be BAILED OUT in order to survive, the banking industry is still thriving while the average American is barely treading water. Reminds me of a joke I recently read on Facebook: A public union employee, a Tea Party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the Tea Partier, and says, "Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."
The average salary of a Goldman Sachs employee is $600,000: Honestly, I am less bothered by professional athletes who make that much. It's despicable that these veritable criminals make 10 times what the average American makes (in some cases more than 10 times). Business Insider points out that the number has gone down -- to $431,000 -- but is still way, way too high.
AIG paid Goldman Sachs $13 billion in taxpayer money: Where did those huge salaries come from? Oh yeah! From us! So if you are only making $40,000, never fear. Your tax dollars are making sure someone is making 10 times what you are. Totally fair, right?
AIG's Joe Cassano made $315 million after the company took at least $85 billion from taxpayers: There are NO words. None.
Lehman CEO Dick Fuld earned $485 million: Fuld claims he only made $310 million. Only. Truly, it's so depressing in this world that so many go about defending these people's rights to make that much while also vilifying the unions and hard-working people of Wisconsin who just want to earn livable wages and be able to afford health care for their families.
Ferguson is darn right. Someone belongs in jail and we are just NOT mad enough.
Did you see Inside Job?
Image via Sony Pictures