Comments on: Margin calls Models.Behaving.Badly Fri, 14 Sep 2012 09:10:53 +0000 hourly 1 By: stat_arb Sat, 05 Nov 2011 09:20:08 +0000 In Margin Call. Before the final boss’ monologue, a couple of rationalisations of financiers are put forward:

1) We deal at arm’s length with rational counterparties.

2) Normal people relish the credit that Wall Street provides, but at the same time blame financiers when “the world gets real fair, real quick.”

3) What’s right? Right for whom?

Then the boss (Tulda?) says more or less:

4) We can’t control or even influence events; we just react.

5) The same ratio of fat cats to starving dogs has persisted throughout history.

I might have missed a few here.

Do you think real financiers really hold those views? And what’s your reaction to them.

A couple other interesting aspects of the movie:

* the clueless and the ruthless were of greatest service to the firm (or those who are both)

* contrast between old and young (particularly 23-year-old “Seth” represents the most dogmatic pro-Wall-Street attitude)

* oblique references to “real work” are all that’s ever needed (“digging holes”, “building bridges”) … we and they know money is what beckoned them and heels them

* everybody’s smart but nobody knows what it all Means (cf. PPE morphs to PNE)