‘The Big Short’ tells how the 2008 financial crisis arose from the perspectives of outlier traders, who foresaw the nitty-gritty ignored details that led to the collapse. It explores how rating agencies are fraudulent, in cahoots with those selling complex financial instruments, which are less stable or valuable than they seem. With the unseen devil (or maras) in the details, this is how the insatiable greed and blind delusion of the masses (as the leading duo of the three poisons) are capitalised upon. The rich and powerful make the rules and play the system, while others are led to imagine they can play it to be rich too.
Aware of how the man on the street prefers sticking to advice of the ‘authoritative’ and familiar, who sells him money-making products, the outliers too play, to ‘short’ the system largely self-blinded by its own greed and delusion. Like a high-stakes betting game with unpredictable moving parts and real life consequences, they won, though featured semi-unwittingly, for they knew that their winnings come from others’ losses.
With so many overwhelmed by greed, it seems that no involved party was blameless. In the end, lost were 5 trillion dollars in pensions, 8 million jobs and 6 million homes – in America alone. The financial institutions deemed ‘too big to fail’ were however bailed out with taxpayers’ money. Will we ever learn from history? As long as greed and delusion thrives, karmic cycles of financial ruin will repeat. Throw into the system more unpredictable moving parts, such as ever-changing political policies, potential occurrence of natural and man-made disasters, and we are led to wonder when the next big short will be.
‘Money Monster’ Driven By Delusional Greed