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Michael Moore's Take on the Financial Crisis
November 17, 2008

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

A new script is rumored to be making the Hollywood rounds.

Here’s the plot: In the midst of a heated presidential campaign, a senior New York Democratic senator pens a letter, which ultimately leads to a run on a bank called IndyMac.

Then, mere weeks prior to Election Day, the Treasury secretary warns that a market meltdown is inevitable if his plans to address the crises are not immediately implemented.

He also scares the president, Congress and nation half out of their wits with terrifying talk about catastrophic economic consequences that will ensue if a $700 billion bailout bill is not passed pronto.

He speaks, too, of an outright economic collapse if Congress fails to act. He tells the country that the money must be used to purchase assets from financial institutions — or else.

A sufficient degree of fear is generated for the Treasury secretary’s demands to be met.

But intriguingly in the process, the political dynamics of the presidential race are altered. The Democratic candidate assumes the lead and ultimately scores an Election Day victory.

Immediately following the election, the Treasury secretary announces that his rescue plan — the one so urgently needed — isn’t necessary after all.

Is the bailout bill negated? No.

It turns out that the $700 billion won’t be used to buy troubled assets, which the public was told would fix the ailing credit market, but instead will be sent to banks and finance companies, which handle credit cards and auto loans.

The Treasury secretary explains that this is the fix the credit market needs. No talk about how it will encourage people to buy more stuff that they can’t afford.

Since banks were the ones originally designated for the bailout bucks, the Treasury secretary additionally allows companies to become banks, so they can ride the gravy train, too.

How are things faring for the Hollywood-D.C. screenplay? Not too well.

According to veteran Hollywood insiders, studio execs are passing on the script because it’s just too unbelievable.

Not as unbelievable is the latest news that Michael Moore is trying to keep his faltering filmmaker career alive by changing his upcoming documentary into a flick on the global financial crisis.

When Paramount Vantage and Overture first announced Moore's film in May 2008, it was presented with a focus on foreign policy.

But as the big news shifted toward the economy, Moore began describing his movie as one dealing with the global financial crisis and the U.S. economy.

Moore has also changed the conversation from the film being a sequel to “Fahrenheit 9/11” to a follow-up to his first filmmaking effort, “Roger & Me,” which focused on the economy and auto industry.

The yet untitled movie is still in production with a targeted release of Spring 2009.

Industry insiders question whether Moore's patented attack-dog mock-umentary approach will continue to be as viable as during the Bush years. The election of Barack Obama has eliminated one of the motivations that filmgoers had to buy tickets for Moore’s theatrical releases, which greatly depended on Bush-GOP hatred.

Maybe some budding filmmaker can work on a script, “Paulson & Me.”

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Copyright © 2008
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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