If you’re not in the financial game, there’s a good chance you don’t understand it the way you wish you did. Sure, you pay taxes, you take out loans, you invest (or have someone invest for you), but you don’t understand the machine. That’s likely why The Big Short is resonating so much with audiences (a “Best Picture” favorite even), because while it’s been years since the spiraling mess that was the 2007-2008 financial crisis, you still aren’t totally sure what happened, how it happened or why.
The movie has put the conversation back in the national dialogue, stirring up fury all over again. I mean, maybe you should be upset to read the recent New York Times headline of “‘Too Big to Fail’ Banks Thriving a Few Years After Financial Crisis.” You feel like “the banks” are too powerful, and there’s good reason for that inkling: the four major banks were once 37 banks, as recently as 1990. Now it seems they can never be destroyed, no matter what their faults. And this is how they came to be.