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Date: Oct/08/2010 05:50 PM

As I was watching “Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson’s meticulous and infuriating documentary about the causes and consequences of the financial crisis of 2008, an odd, archaic sentence kept popping into my head. The words come from the second chapter of “The Scarlet Letter” and are spoken in frustration and disgust by an old Puritan woman who watches Hester Prynne, publicly disgraced but without any sign of remorse, making her way from Salem’s prison to a scaffold in its market square. She “has brought shame upon us all ...” the anonymous woman remarks. “Is there not law for it?” Ed Hardy Men Core Basic Tees “Inside Job,” a sleek, briskly paced film whose title suggests a heist movie, is the story of a crime without punishment, of an outrage that has so far largely escaped legal sanction and societal stigma. The betrayal of public trust and collective values that Mr. Ferguson chronicles was far more brazen and damaging than the adultery in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, which treated Hester more as scapegoat than villain. The gist of this movie, which begins in a mood of calm reflection and grows angrier and more incredulous as it goes on, is unmistakably punitive. The density of information and the complexity of the subject matter make “Inside Job” feel like a classroom lecture at times, but by the end Mr. Ferguson has summoned the scourging moral force of a pulpit-shaking sermon. That he delivers it with rigor, restraint and good humor makes his case all the more devastating. He is hardly alone in making it. Numerous journalists have published books and articles retracing the paths that led the world economy to the precipice two years ago. The deregulation of the financial services industry in the 1980s and ’90s; the growing popularity of complex and risky derivatives; the real estate bubble and the explosion of subprime lending — none of these developments were exactly secret. On the contrary, they were celebrated as vindications of the power and wisdom of markets. Accordingly, Mr. Ferguson recycles choice moments of triumphalism, courtesy of Lawrence H. Summers, George W. Bush, Alan Greenspan and various cable television ranters and squawkers. Ed Hardy Women Swimwear Even as stock indexes soared and profits swelled, there were always at least a few investors, economists and government officials who warned that the frenzied speculation was leading to the abyss. Some of these prophets without honor show up in front of Mr. Ferguson’s camera, less to gloat than to present, once again, the analyses that were dismissed and ignored by their peers for so long.

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