“Too Big to Fail” is a book by Andrew Ross Sorkin and a movie; it is about the 2008 economic crisis events and the collapse of Lehman Brothers from the perspective of the US government watchdog and Wall Street CEOs. The book/movie gives a summary of the first phase of the fiscal crisis of 2007-2010 from the beginning of 2008 to the decision to create the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Cunningham 42). The book/movie tells the story from the viewpoint of the leaders of the most important monetary institutions and the major dictatorial authorities. Too Big to Fail is the ultimate story of the most influential men and women in economics and politics struggling with achievement and disappointments, ego and voracity, and, finally, the destiny of the global economy. The book is compared to Marx’s theory and other scientific semiotics in different ways.
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Marx was a great economist, and in his theories, he talks about the financial crisis and the world’s economy. This story is not only about the financial institutions that were “too big to fail,” it is a suspenseful story that has forceful characters who thought they were “too big to fail.” The book discusses the issues in the world’s economy and the financial crisis experienced. Marx’s theories explicate why such issues arise and how they can be controlled. According to Marx, an idyllic economic system involves equal value exchanges where value is basically determined by the magnitude of work put into the production. In the book/movie, these principles are not applied, and many decisions are made in a meaningless way. A lot of money is raised by the government to save financial institutions from great economic depression.
Marx categorized government control of assets and funds as one of the ten crucial steps to the road of communism. Capitalism disrupts this principle by initiating a profit motive, a need to create an irregular exchange of smaller value for bigger value. Profit is eventually founded on the extra value produced by human resources in financial institutions. All of this is aggravated by capitalism, which only augments the discrepancy between the affluent classes and the manual labor classes. An altercation between them is inevitable since these classes are driven-by chronological forces that are beyond their control.
Capitalism is evident in the movie/book; it creates economic depression through the misuse of surplus-value. Finances/economics are what make up the foundation of all human history and life, creating a distribution of labor, class struggle, and all the societal and financial institutions which ought to uphold the status quo. Those societal and financial institutions are a superstructure formed on the foundation of economics, entirely reliant on economic and material realities (Ross 514). Scientific and Marx ideologies are helpful in understanding the reasons behind the financial crisis events taking place in the movie. All of the institutions which are important in people’s everyday lives can only be truly comprehended when scrutinized with regard to economic forces.
Marx had a unique expression for all of the efforts that go into building those financial institutions: ideology. Individuals working in those financial systems believe that their ideas originate from a need to become successful, but that is not always true. In actual fact, they are terminologies of class interest and class divergence. They are manifestations of an underlying desire to preserve the status quo and maintain various economic realities. This isn’t astounding; those in authority have always desired to substantiate and preserve that power.
Cunningham, John. Karl Marx’s economics: critical assessments, New York: Routledge, 2008. Print.
Ross, Andrew. Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street, New York: Penguin Books Ltd, 2010. Print.