The Big Short Movie Info:
When four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.
Initial release: December 11, 2015 (USA)
Director: Adam McKay
Running time: 2h 10m
Screenplay: Adam McKay, Charles Randolph
Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Arnon Milchan
In 2005, eccentric hedge fund manager Michael Burry (Christian Bale) discovers that the U.S. housing market is extremely unstable, being based on subprime loans that are high risk and providing fewer and fewer returns. Predicting that the market will collapse sometime in the second quarter of 2007, he realizes that he can profit from this situation by creating a credit default swap market, allowing him to bet against the housing market; he visits numerous banks with this idea, and the banks, believing that the housing market is secure, accept his proposal. This earns the ire of Burry’s clients who believe that he is wasting their money and demand that he stop his activities, but he refuses. As the predicted time of the collapse approaches, his investors lose their confidence and consider pulling their money out, but Burry puts a moratorium on withdrawals, much to his investors’ anger. However, the market collapses just as he predicted and he produces 489% profits from the plan.
Trader Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) hears of Burry’s actions from one of the bankers he dealt with, and soon realizes that Burry’s predictions are true. He decides to put his own stake in the credit default swap market. A misplaced phone call alerts hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell) to his plans, and Baum is convinced to join Vennett. The two discover that the impending market collapse is being further perpetuated by the sale of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), groups of poor loans that are packaged together and incorrectly given AAA ratings due to the conflicts of interest and dishonesty of the rating agencies. When Baum attends the American Securitization Forum in Las Vegas, he interviews a businessman who has created synthetic CDOs, making what is described as a chain of increasingly large bets on the faulty loans; Baum realizes, much to his horror, that the scale of the fraud will cause a complete collapse of the economy. Baum’s business partners convince him to go through with the credit default swaps, profiting from the situation at the banks’ expense.