Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Inside Job

"Inside Job" won the 2011 Oscar for Best Documentary. In Charles Ferguson's documentary about the great financial crash, there are many memorable quotes - like former US treasury secretary Hank Paulson's "If you're growing, you're not in recession … right?" - that sum up the attitude of the super-rich banking apparatchiks and their eager political supporters. As long as the bubble's getting bigger, there's no worry about the bubble contracting … right?

This film is a far cry from the wacky and tricksy version of Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story". Still, by the time the credits roll, you won't be exactly enamoured of the likes of Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson and other financial gurus, some of whom are still in office. Not when you see the roles they played in the deregulation of the banking industry that made possible the debacles of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and so on. There are so many villains on the set, you will need a score card to keep tab.

But did you know PM Lee Hsien Loong has a cameo in the opening scenes? We don't know what was the question posed to him, but he is caught on camera, mouthing this line, "When you start thinking you can create something all of nothing it's very difficult to resist." Just before his scene ( at 00:08:45 ), there's a clip of Andrew Sheng, Chief Advisor of China Banking Regulatory Commission, saying this, "They were having massive private gains at public loss." If irony was intended, the movie deserves an award for film editing too.
"You know my day rate, right?"
"....it's very difficult to resist."
Channel 8 artiste Zoe Tay was once taken for a ride when she was subject of a storefront ad for Singapore-based skin care pill Imedeen. She was featured in the advertisement of the anti-aging supplement, with a tagline that reads, “My secret to beautiful skin? I swallow.” The copy writer took advantage of her command of the English language, but smucks come in all shapes and sizes.


  1. Arguably, Zoe Tay will always be remembered for the Imedeen advert, "My secret to beautiful skin? I swallow."

    But sadly, LKY and son, together with all their PAP stooges can also declare, "Our secret to dominance? Singaporeans swallow!"
    ...line, hook and sinker...

  2. Enjoy it while it blasts, LHL. Soon you will be swallowing your pride. And I assure you, is fat free and taste good.

  3. Has/Will this film been/be available in Singapore?

  4. Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" had a short run in the local cinemas, but "Inside Job" may not have sufficient commercial appeal. But methinks it should be compulsory viewing for Econs students. Another favourite of mine is "Gasland", about the dangers of fracking featured in latest Time magazine.

  5. Zoe Tay is not that stupid, she's blinded by the endorsement fees and she would even go down on all 4s if you pay her.