Neoliberalism In The Big Short

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Neoliberalism represents an attitude and structure of society which centers everything around the economy and promotes economic growth. On paper this may sound positive; however, this economic growth helps some at the expense of others in many occasions, and thus leaves a tear in the moral fabric of society. The Big Short, by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph, is a film that details the 2008 financial crash, and how a select few investors betted against what seemed to be the entire world and won. The film portrays the harmful side of neoliberalism brilliantly, even explaining concepts as complicated as subprime mortgages and CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations) in an easily understood manner. In The Big Short, McKay and Randolph highlight the …show more content…
At another point where Mark Baum and his hedge fund employees are meeting the people they are betting against, Baum has a talk with a CDO manager. It is during this conversation where the CDO manager reveals just how corrupt the system truly is, and how millions of people would suffer if Mark and his group are right. When asked if the manager worries about rising default rates, all he responds with is that he assumes no risk. Mark flips out, and the conversation ends with the manager comparing his wealth to Mark’s wealth. Of course, the manager also has to mention that he owns a nice helicopter. A very revealing quote from the manager is “You think I’m a parasite don’t you? Well apparently society values me very much, judging by how much I’m worth.” Brown’s article sums up the reason behind society promoting this kind of thinking amongst individuals:
“The extension of economic rationality to formerly non-economic domains and institutions extends to individual conduct, or more precisely, prescribes citizen-subject conduct in a neo-liberal order. Whereas classical liberalism articulated a distinction, and at times even a tension, among the criteria for individual moral, associational, and economic actions, neo-liberalism normatively constructs and interpellates individuals as entrepreneurial actors in every sphere of

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