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Money Movie: The Big Short

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Money Movie: The Big Short

Feb 28, 2017Tyrone Wiseman

Louise and I are what are technically referred to as “finance nerds”. So in our spare time -- yes, just for fun -- we like to watch movies with a finance / money theme. 

 The storytelling and entertainment factor can often help explain financial concepts simply, without getting bogged down in text books full of tiny print and graphs.* 

 So over the coming months, we thought we’d share a few flicks – both old and new – for the next time you want to spend a Saturday night on the couch.


You know, it’s funny. When banks, politicians and investment houses start explaining complex investment structures, most people tune out. Or run. 

But when Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez and Anthony Bourdain start explaining those same concepts, it’s a little easier to pay attention. 

And sometimes, we even hit rewind, and watch again. 

Now Louise and I are pretty unlikely** to hire any A-grade actors to help explain investment structures, but The Big Short is an entertaining way to understand what went on leading up to the GFC in 2007-08. 

"No one can see a bubble. That's what makes it a bubble." 

 The movie is based on a book by Michael Lewis, who also wrote Moneyball and The Blind Side . It tells the story of a small group of fund managers who predicted and bet on the housing crash. And who made huge sums of money. 

As well as beating those nasty banks.

The Big Short

Source: BigShortMovie 

On the flip side, the group came incredibly close to losing it all in the process. Their theories were right, but their timing was wrong.

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And ultimately, the pain that investors had to deal with during the lead-up to the housing market collapse, might not have been worth the eventual gains Christian Bale shown in the closing scenes.

“There is no happy ending to this story, no punishment for the crime.”NY Times






• Christian Bale

• Steve Carrell

• Ryan Gosling

• Brad Pitt

• Melissa Leo

Learn about:

• The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 

• Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs)


Great way of explaining difficult concepts. Lots of bank bashing. Doesn’t focus much on the greed of the everyday person during the time.


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* Louise and I didn’t get our finance qualifications from the University of Netflix. Our actual qualifications are completely legit.

** By “pretty unlikely”, we mean “never”.