Margin Call: The Movie

Was anyone else as disappointed as I was by this piece of shit movie? Despite, understanding the underlying premise of the movie I was still confused as shit with regards to what they found on that USB drive. Also, anyone have an idea of what they were referring to when they said that they were past their historical limits in the past two weeks? Are they talking about volatility?

Obviously, this movie is supposed to portray and instance of how a bank reacted when they found that their MBS was worth shit. Personally, I think they did a bad job explaining what happened. Instead the movie focused on just firing everyone in the movie.

Lastly, what the fuck was that shit between the CEO and demi moore? Way to create some weird shit but then leave the conflict unexplained.

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Comments (47)

Oct 28, 2011 - 12:52pm

The one who wrote the script really didn't have a clue. Was looking forward to this movie, but it really sucked. Especially the end, the movie wasn't worth the effort

Rien à prouver.. neuf quatre
Oct 28, 2011 - 1:51pm

I think it was just that markets had been more volatile the past few weeks than they had been historically (aka in the models).. meaning that a big down day would destroy the bank due to its large exposure.

but agreed. movie sucked

Oct 28, 2011 - 1:53pm

Yeah it was a fairly mediocre movie all said. Not really good, but not WS2 either.

I initially assumed what they found was the breakdown of the Gaussian Copula, but to be honest I'm not sure. It was all purposefully vague I think.

Demi moore was the fall-person.

Jack: They’re all former investment bankers who were laid off from that economic crisis that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have zero real world skills, but God they work hard. -30 Rock
Oct 28, 2011 - 4:01pm

Wow, I'm actually surprised to read all of your reactions. I watched it twice in one day I liked it so much. I actually have a post planned for next week about the dilemma faced by the individual traders in the movie (destroy your career and all your personal and business relationships for $1.4 million in a day - yea or nay?).

Sorry guys, I gotta disagree. I really liked this one.

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Oct 28, 2011 - 4:30pm
Edmundo Braverman:
Wow, I'm actually surprised to read all of your reactions. I watched it twice in one day I liked it so much. I actually have a post planned for next week about the dilemma faced by the individual traders in the movie (destroy your career and all your personal and business relationships for $1.4 million in a day - yea or nay?).

Sorry guys, I gotta disagree. I really liked this one.

What did you like in the movie? Am I missing some subcontext? Apart from actually showing what a trading floor actually looks like, I found this movie both shallow and pedantic.

Best Response
Oct 28, 2011 - 4:41pm

Maybe it's just because I'm older and I've known all the characters in real life. Kevin Spacey's character was my first manager: older, desperate to believe his life hasn't been a waste, making millions but with no family life. Simon Baker's character was my second manager: young, hyper-aggressive, too clever by half. I could go on and on.

Look, we all know what happened in the movie. Hell, it's happening as we speak at MF Global Holdings. Somebody's black box gets away from them, or somebody doesn't account for a black swan, or something else along those lines and the whole thing goes nuclear.

What makes this movie different from the others in the genre is that this one actually shows how the folks in the trenches react to this shit. The manic self-preservation. The pathetic college kids who want nothing more out of life than to become a banker. The older guys who actually accomplished something at some point in their life and then sold it out to work on Wall Street. And it explores everyone's selfish motivations and ultimately asks the question, "Would you fuck everyone else just to save yourself?"

I think it's an important question to ask. If you're looking for a Hollywood movie to to make the Black-Scholes model look like Die Hard, I think you're going to be waiting a long time.

Oct 28, 2011 - 4:58pm

I agree with Eddie.

I mean, really, what do you guys honestly expect to see in a hollywood movie about Wall Street? Both you and I know that a movie that accurately portrayed what you guys do everyday is way too damn boring for bankers themselves, let alone the average movie-goer. Would you guys go see a film about the fast-paced life of changing powerpoint fonts and intense trips to the copying room? This is about as close as it will ever get to an accurate move about the street.

I thought that the movie did a good job of letting you develop a quasi-relationship with each character and the plot was exciting enough for a movie about overexposure in mortgage-backed securities.

You guys are so hard to please, lol.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Oct 28, 2011 - 6:34pm

I feel the same way as Ed. I saw it in theatres and downloaded it that Sunday and watch it with my gf. Had to explain the whole thing to her. It was perfect i think and very reflective of how we would of reacted if we were in the same situation. and Ed those traders made about 2.6mm i believe because they also got an extra 1.4mm if the entire floor sold over 90 something percent..

Beast
Oct 28, 2011 - 6:58pm

Yes, that's correct. They got an extra $1.3 mil apiece for hitting a 93% clearance.

The interesting question to me though was, ignoring the extra mil and a half, would you destroy your career in one day for $1.4 mil? I think I would, but that's a pretty close call.

Oct 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Do you want them to spend 10 minutes on what a CDS, MBS and tranches and structuring is all about? It was pretty clear what was happening the assets the bank owned and the stress tests the risk team was running. Also demi moore saying "it would take months to really agree to those #s, since there is no market for any of this stuff and on one knows".

I really enjoyed it, my favorite was the head of capital markets and how he reacted. Paul Bettany explaining the guy is a killer truly played out the way that dude just took the ball and ran with it. Or how about the ending "your keeping the kid, keep him he's getting promoted, there will be a lot of $$$ to be made from this". That is so realistic to how the street works in real life.

Oct 28, 2011 - 10:52pm
jec:
What was the dying dog side plot supposed to mean? That bankers are human and have emotions or just that Sam was a lonely old man.

It was their way of showing that Sam was lonely. the dog was the last thing he had left

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Oct 28, 2011 - 11:52pm

I felt that it was based on Goldman due to the fact that if Lehman did that they wouldnt of had the issue they had plus at one point Paul Bettany (Emerson) took a hit of a 100 million and that made me think of the email that circulated in GS of "who lost the hundy?"
I also don't think it would be worth it Ed because realize Will made 2.5m the year before already, so why would he sacrifice his career for a one time shot when he could just jump ship?

Beast
Oct 29, 2011 - 4:39am

Margin Call Movie (showing now) (Originally Posted: 10/22/2011)

I saw it yesterday. It was very low budge ($3.5M film) but I thought it was extremely realistic. I especially enjoyed how they showed the power structure in a bank during a time of crisis when everyone is trying to protect their job. They used dysphemisms for getting fired "being killed" and Demi Moore's character was a "head" that had to be "offered up" to the traders and the board of directors in the face of the blunder.

What are your opinoins on the movie? And favorite parts? Besides the above, the other favorite was Jermey Irons playing the scary CEO- epic scenes.

Question- when the firm tries to "get out front" by selling their mortgage assets in one day before the crash, they have their salespeople trying to sell the shit with cheesy car salesman pitches. What'd you think of that?

Oct 29, 2011 - 4:43am

It was pretty lame.. was expecting some more excitement..

Array

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Oct 29, 2011 - 4:44am

i loved the junior analyst. He acts exactly like a few of the kids i work with (including myself)

Array

Oct 29, 2011 - 4:47am

I can't imagine anyone who isn't interested in finance finding this movie remotely interesting. I thought it wasn't bad but if I paid to see it in theater I would have been kinda pissed.

Oct 29, 2011 - 4:52am

Acting and tension were nice. Jeremy Irons was pretty much his usual self which I loved. Cannot see how anyone would like this if they weren't into finance.

Light some candles, heat up a f*ckin’ Lean Cuisine, and go to town!
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Oct 29, 2011 - 4:54am

Is this even in the theaters? I didn't catch one commercial for it since seeing the trailer.

I downloaded it and thought it was pretty good. Gives people a view into what the guys upstairs were thinking at the time. It's kill or be killed and put any of these clowns that are against the industry in the same position and they would have done the exact same thing.

Oct 29, 2011 - 4:56am

pretty dull for the most part but loved the last sequence when he dumps the mbs paper to the other banks
although wish it would've lasted longer

IVY for Life
Oct 29, 2011 - 4:57am

The movie was kind of dull, but it was extremely realistic. I've been laid off during a market crash. I've been at a company that had SEC auditors in black suits walk past my cubicle on their way to my boss' office. Those are some of the worst moments of my life, and when the people were being laid off I felt empathy for their characters (although their severance was significantly better than mine) as it felt very real.

That said, if the movie had music in it to heighten tension I think the word "dull" would change to "intense." I was surprised that the producer was fine keeping the movie as realistic as possible, down to the (lack of) music.

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Oct 29, 2011 - 4:58am

imnottheonlyone:

I

Question- when the firm tries to "get out front" by selling their mortgage assets in one day before the crash, they have their salespeople trying to sell the shit with cheesy car salesman pitches. What'd you think of that?

Just saw this movie, you obviously haven't worked at a buy-side fixed income desk. Yes, the institutional salespeople use borderline used car salesman pitches. That scene was an aspect of it that I really liked in terms of realism.

Oct 29, 2011 - 4:59am

coreytrevor:

imnottheonlyone:

I

Question- when the firm tries to "get out front" by selling their mortgage assets in one day before the crash, they have their salespeople trying to sell the shit with cheesy car salesman pitches. What'd you think of that?

Just saw this movie, you obviously haven't worked at a buy-side fixed income desk. Yes, the institutional salespeople use borderline used car salesman pitches. That scene was an aspect of it that I really liked in terms of realism.

Agreed, but as you can hear in the phone conversations, they've obviously traded together before.

Trades are usually done pretty quickly.

Oct 29, 2011 - 5:00am

I hate rlcontributing to the resurection of a dead thread. But how the fuck did they get Kevin Spacey and some other people I've actually heard of on a $3.5 million budget?

Competition is a sin. -John D. Rockefeller
Oct 29, 2011 - 5:01am

Margin Call - Limited theaters? (Originally Posted: 10/21/2011)

What the hell happened to this movie? Looks pretty decent and had a big budget but I haven't seen a single commercial for it and it's only being released in limited theaters today and you can already watch it on youtube (Not free)? Need a good new Wall Street movie to wash away the bad taste still in my mouth from Money never sleeps.

Oct 29, 2011 - 5:02am

Yeah idk wtf happened...was really looking forward to seeing this and then all of a sudden its only playing in 20 theatres across the U.S.

Anyone know where you can watch it?

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Oct 29, 2011 - 5:05am
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