Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Money Monster


Here we have Jodie Foster’s latest directorial effort. She has proven to be a competent director, though nothing special. George Clooney is a … well, I guess you would have to call him a television financial advisor, though his shows have more phony showmanship than an Ultimate Fighting match. Julia Roberts is his director, one of the gnomes in the dark room overlooking the studio where he performs his stupid antics.

He has advised his watchers to buy a certain stock, guaranteed to go up. But somehow a “trading glitch” has caused the company to lose $800,000,000. One man who had sunk all of his $60,000 inheritance into the stock arrives at the studio and takes him hostage, forcing him to wear an explosive vest connected to a dead-man switch. Shoot the guy, and Clooney dies. The man wants some answers. Where the fuck did his money go? Just vanish into thin air? Not likely. Somebody has it, and he wants to know who.

The answer is really too complicated for me, and involves programmed trading that can take place in milliseconds. Why this is a good idea is beyond me, and in fact it may be a horrible idea. We really don’t know yet, but I’ve heard some scenarios where it might turn out to be catastrophic for the world economy, such that it might lead to a financial collapse that happens so fast that by the time anyone realizes what’s happening, it’s already over. I hope that’s not true, but you know what? I don’t think anyone really knows. Remember that in the days of The Big Short all the smart money said the real estate bubble would never burst. Thanks, George W. Bush and Company! Thanks for fucking us all!

Though the financial shenanigans are spelled out cogently, it’s not really necessary to understand it all, you don’t need an economics degree. The story takes some interesting twists and turns, and I had a good time.