By Don Malvasi
Originally posted on Cinedork.com
Like all superb art about significant political events, The Big Short holds a mirror to human beings caught up in forces beyond their control. Highly entertaining and often comical, the film focuses on several maverick financial rocket scientists who go against the grain, trying to take the upper hand in the way they know best. Betting that the economy will collapse long before the rest of their contemporaries catch on, the geniuses here may be wacko eccentric in completely different ways, but they know how to make money.
Michael Burry (Christian Bale), the most extreme of the bunch, appears to be rather far along the Asperger spectrum. He’s also in charge of investments for a California investment firm. He often works barefoot listening to death metal, and doesn’t pay much attention to his staff. His initial investigation of the mortgage housing bubble convinces him he must bet against what had been assumed to be a rock solid bonds contrived from subprime mortgages. The idea was so foreign at the time that Burry must go to the investment banks and ask them to create a new financial entity–in essence, bond insurance.