Documentaries and Films

Please let me know if any of the following links are broken and a search via youtube will often find another version of the video. I’ve looked at a number of other documentaries, anything I think is garbage/rubbish/lies I leave out this list; that being said if you know of anything that you feel should be included, please send me a link.

Documentaries and Films
Title
About
Rating
The Ascent of Money
The history of money based on the book by Harvard’s Niall Ferguson.  It consists of five episodes for a total of 4 hours of documentary but is well worth watching to those with even a passing interest in the origins of money, banking, finance and economics. Find the full documentary here.
5/5
Masters of Money (BBC)
A look at three of the most influential minds in economics; my sole criticism is that they don’t include a fourth: Milton Friedman and the monetarist revolution. (This is kind of like describing an elephant, as big with large ears and tusks and then leaving out that it has a trunk. Like wtf BBC?)
Part 1: John Maynard Keynes
Part 2: Friedrich Hayek
Part 3: Karl Marx
5/5
The Smartest Guys in the Room
The collapse of Enron, based on the excellent book of the same name. Available on Netflix, although it appears to have been removed from Youtube.
Last days of Lehman Brothers
You know something is wrong when guys like Dick Fuld are CEOs. See the full movie here.
4/5
Download: The True Story of the Internet
Interesting in and of itself, but specifically the episode on the 1999-2001 Dotcom Bubble is good.
In four parts:
Browser Wars
Search
Bubble
People Power
4/5
Meltdown: The Men Who Crashed the World
Excellent 4 part series by Aljazeera on the 2008 financial crisis and its global ripple effects.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
5/5
The Flaw
Definitely one of my favorite documentaries on the 2008 crisis. Sadly it is no longer in full on Youtube (the trailer is) but you can find it on Netflix.
5/5
Payback
A documentary based on Margaret Atwood’s book. It’s definitely a contrarian view of the word “debt” and its place in society; normally not my thing, but I found it intriguing nonetheless.
The trailer is on Youtube and full documentary on Netflix.
4/5
Europe on the Brink
A rather short piece by the WSJ looking at the origins of the European sovereign debt crisis. Incomplete analysis, but still a good overview; find it here.
4/5
Great Euro Crash 2012
BBC documentary covering the development, expansion and catastrophic fracturing of the Euro-zone.
Find it here.
5/5
Debtocracy
Greek documentary which blames everyone else in Europe (and the US) for Greece’s problems and tells a few lies. Included because (1) it’s fun when socialists cry and (2) I think this cultural sense of both entitlement and victimization is partly to blame for the continuation of the Euro-zone crisis in the same way that crying about problems doesn’t solve them. (US politician Ron Paul gets a shout-out in a clip where he asks about the logic of the ECB & IMF’s “Greece bailing out Greece” policy.)
Find it here in Greek with English subtitles.
2/5
The Quants: Alchemists of Wall Street
Relatively short but interesting look at the legion physicists, mathematicians and technologists who built the models that failed so calamitously in 2008. Find it here.
5/5
97% Owned (UK)
A documentary by some young UK economists in the wake of the 2008 crisis. Interesting in the sense that the focus is the UK where the banking sector is far larger than the US.
Found here.
How the Banks Won (UK)
Similar premise to and good to watch in conjunction with “97% Owned” above. Find here.
RBS: Inside the Bank that Ran Out of Money
A look at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s numerous solvency problems stemming from the aftermath of 2008. (Perhaps you remember the glut of RBS advertising that ended suddenly around 2008?) Find it here.
The Party’s Over: How the West Went Bust (BBC)
A look at Western societies, their debts, failure to save and supposedly how China is doing all of these things better. (I’m skeptical as to the latter point.)
Not perfect but not terrible, find Part 1 and Part 2.
3/5
I.O.U.S.A
Pretty popular documentary about the US national debt. Not bad. Find in 5 parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
4/5
Mind over Money
Behavioral economics and its role in the 2008 mania, excellent particularly in its examination of the rational-behavior/efficient markets hypothesis.
From PBS NOVA and found here.
5/5
Do People Make Good Decisions? (BBC)
A look at how human behavior differs from rationality and providing examples common to Behavioral economics.
Found here.
5/5
Crash of 1929 (PBS)
Absolutely necessary viewing. What happened in 2008 was not even a remotely isolated event, more bubbles will inflate and pop within your lifetime, better get used to it. Watch free via PBS, find it here.
5/5
Frontline Warning
Looks at Brooksley Borns’ attempt to regulate OTC derivatives market in the late 1990s and her subsequent firing, “whoops.” Free from PBS, find it here.
5/5
Frontline Untouchables
TBTF and the “untouchable” status many banks and bankers have achieved. Free from PBS, find it here.
5/5
Frontline Breaking the Bank
Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and the US government’s complacency/assistance in creating TBTF. Free from PBS, find it here.
4/5
Frontline Ten Trillion and Counting
Although obviously dated a few years (more like Sixteen Trillion and Counting), it’s still a decent look at the US national debt, although it’s nothing profound. Free from PBS, find it here.
3/5
Frontline The Madoff Affair
Ponzi Schemes are only fun if you’re either successfully running one or learning about them; you can do the latter free from PBS, find it here.
4/5
La Toma (The Take)
This came highly recommended and I was quite impressed even though the subject matter (Argentinean factory workers fighting the man) is controversial. Grants insight to the developing worlds’ struggles with globalism. Watch it.
(Note: film is subtitled and in nine parts; Part 1.)
5/5
Argentina’s Financial Collapse
A look at the history of Argentina, from its original promise as the “United States of South America” to its current laundry list of problems.
Full movie here with English subtitles.
5/5
American Drug War: Last White Hope
Great documentary on the history (and sheer stupidity) of the American war on drugs. Covers a lot of bases: Iran-Contra, corporations paid to lock people up, racism and classism in the war, former DEA head admitting CIA was involved with drugs in the ghetto, and more. (Note appearances by Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, the Libertarian party’s presidential candidates of 2012/2016.)
Unreliably available on Youtube, also on Netflix.
5/5
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