The Big Short is not only an entertaining movie with elements of comedy, drama, and thriller but also a documentary allowing learning more about the crisis of 2008. My top insights from this exciting film are as follows. First, the American mortgage system, with its almost full approval of loans, had long been acting as a financial pyramid and was on the verge of collapse. Second, if market participants massively invest in one asset, it does not mean it is reliable. We do not have to give in to the hype and carefully study the market tools. Third, the reason for the mortgage bonds’ default was in their security by subprime loans. In other words, as Margot Robbie explained talentedly, banks secured those bonds with risky loans to keep on getting superprofits.
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Also noteworthy is the fact that the content and ideas of the film can be related to the International Political Economy class. This doctrine focuses the attention of its research agenda on the study of how the mutual influence of political structures (states, regions, intergovernmental organizations) and market institutions occurs in a global economy. The financial crisis of 2008 caused substantial shifts in international relations. Thus, the events depicted in the movie are subject to the studies of the mentioned school.
An interesting question within the scope of Political economy is how the crisis affected one of the main competitors of the USA – China. The global financial default has not influenced this country much due to another vector of development of the economic system.
Chinese banks are by no means mortgage, but mainly state-owned savings institutions. Therefore, the main danger of the global crisis for China was not in the sphere of finance, but in the real economy and foreign trade – in a slowdown of economic growth and a significant drop in exports. For China, with its immense export opportunities, reducing global imports is extremely disadvantageous. In this regard, an important area of economic development of the Chinese government is expanding the domestic market, developing a “knowledge economy,” and increasing household incomes.