Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Margin Call


Oh, no, not another vampire movie! Yes, I’m afraid so, but there’s a big difference in this one. It’s not those stupid Northwest vamps from Twilight, or the silly Transylvanian breed in their funny capes. No, these are truly scary vampires. By day they roost in their glass towers above Wall Street, lords of all they survey, and by night they swoop down to suck the blood from all of us. They gleefully bugger the Statue of Liberty, wipe their repulsive asses with the Constitution, and demand perverted sex acts from their wholly-owned subsidiaries, the US Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court. (Yes, these vampires are legally people, and can now contribute unlimited money to our zombiefied “elected” masters!). They go by names like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, and Citibank, to cite just a few, but they are really the maggots that crawl through the dissolving corpse of our financial system, which they invaded and killed through their own actions, eating all the choice bits and leaving the bones to the rest of us.

This is one of the least action-packed movies you’ll ever see, so if you expect even verbal histrionics, go elsewhere. It is all very underplayed by a troupe of great actors, led by Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, and Paul Bettany. I thought it was great. It happens at an unnamed firm, but it is clearly patterned on atrocities that were actually committed in 2008 by any number of companies. One night they discover that most of the assets they are holding—and don’t ask me what they are, possibly the infamous “derivatives,” but you don’t need to understand this shit to understand the movie—are worthless. Junk. Bundles of worthless paper gussied up with a few good investments to make the crap saleable. This is stuff they created themselves, fantasy bubbles masquerading as real money. Now the chickens are coming home to roost and the rats are leaving the sinking ship. But not before busting open the safe, stealing the silverware, and more important, picking the pockets of all their investors. In less than 24 hours they abandon 107 years of at least some integrity, and sell every bit of this worthless shit to their own clients! It all has to be done quickly, before the stench of what they are doing becomes obvious. This troubles a few of them, but it doesn’t stop a one of them.

This all happened, my friends. This, and worse. Wall Street bankers and brokers used to do the “honorable” thing and jump out a window when their company went bust. Or at least they usually suffered along with their investors. Now they walk away with billions, chuckling “Fuck you, suckers!” And guess how many of these thieving bastards ever went to jail for this? None, so far as I know. I’m writing this on December 31, 2011. A new year is about to dawn. And guess just what has been done to make this sort of legal robbery impossible, three years down the line?

Fuck all, that’s what.