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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wall street against Cleveland - a great movie

This is a great movie to see ... It shows how a system was built on top of a good US government idea (make more people own their house, especially the one who can not afford to) with disastrous results.

This movie shows the effect of subprime crisis on people leaving in Cleveland . The film begins by a short car drive in east Cleveland ("the ghetto of the ghetto") and shows an incredible world of empty and closed houses. Shadowland, used now by gangs ...

The main reason for all that nightmare: people trying to have enough money to survive and using (and abusing) credit. They financed their lives with their house, the only thing they own. Once the whole system collapsed, they were alone with their debt.

It is the story of a complex and uncontrolled system invented to earn money easily without any control or boundaries. How? By targeting a specific segment of the population and offering them to refinance their house mortgage. Of course, there was a price to pay: very high credit rate (8,5 % up to 15%). It is also the story of under-educated people trusting a guy with a tie and of people needing absolutely money. Some of them were abused by brokers selling them mortgages with an abusive interest rates and commission fees (sometimes illegal). Some were aware of the risk, but had no choice (credit or leave in the street).

After this movie, you will keep in mind the faces of the actors playing their real life ... The cop crying, the excellent lawyers (the smile of the wall street banks defendant is awesome), the guy with the godfather's tee shirt, the incredible black women fighting to save its community and asking questions to Obama, and the frightened kids not knowing were they will  leave, away from their home. That's were the movie hurts. Real people, real face, real situation, and no solution.

There's always a price to pay if you want people to leave in good conditions. The question is who will pay? Poor, elderly people can not "create" money by magic. So do we let them in the streets or do we try to help them (even if sometimes they can make mistakes). What if we (country, state, people) do not have enough money to help them anymore (due to unemployment, country debt, etc.)?

This movie hurted my soul.