15 Must Watch Movies in Financial Markets
Here are the 15 movies (revolving around financial markets) we highly recommend our readers:
- Wall Street (1987):
A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing. This 126 minutes long film is all about making a lot of money through insider trading. This is one movie which will always remain as the epitome of finance movies – you’ve got to watch this one.
- Margin Call (2011):
Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period of deep trouble, during the early stages of the financial crisis. The movie is 107 minutes long and quite slow paced, but it is an excellent depiction of the mindset of the people in a financial institution in times of such threatening crisis – the bank is willing to sell anything just do that it can survive.
- Rogue Trader (1999):
One man’s ambition causes one of the greatest financial disasters in history. This movie is about Nick Leeson who brought down the Barings which was Britain’s oldest investment bank. In fact Leeson even wrote a book about this and the movie is adapted from the book itself. It shows how Nick lost money worth billions in futures trading.
- Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005 Documentary)
This 110 minutes documentary, tell tales the widely known corporate governance’s disastrous failure. It is about the Enron Corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall in 2001. It gives a strong message that accounting fraud cannot last forever – one day it is sure to catch up.
- Inside Job (2010 Documentary)
Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown in 2008. It is one of the most insightful documentaries on this topic. One of the lines from the movie which exactly states the reason for the crisis is: “This crisis was not an accident. It was caused by an out-of-control industry.” It basically analyzes the crisis by a series of interviews. It is 105 minutes in length.
- Other People’s Money (1991)
A corporate raider threatens a hostile take-over of a “mom and pop” company. The patriarch of the company enlists the help of his wife’s daughter, who is a lawyer, to try and protect the company. The raider is enamored of her, and enjoys the thrust and parry of legal maneuvering as he tries to win her heart.
- Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
This movie is both a drama –cum –comedy documentary, based on a novel about the buyout of the famous food giant RJR Nabisco. The president of the major tobacco company decides to buy the company himself, but a bidding war ensues as other companies make their own offers. The movie is about the leveraged buyout which is surrounded by brutal competition.
- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2011)
This is the sequel to Wall Street (1987) and centers around the life of a young financier who is trying his best to live a different kind of life in Wall Street – by avoiding moral hazards and dealing in fair practices. But will this still keep him out of trouble? Watch the movie to find out!
- Big Short (2015)
This is the latest movie on the 2008 financial crisis and it tells the story of three men who somehow realize the big bomb of subprime mortgage that was ticking away and how they make a fortune out of it by taking advantage of their far sightedness. It is cast against the background of corruption and misfits in the financial world.
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
A very fast paced movie, it focuses on the life of a rich stockbroker who gets carried away into the realms of corruption and crime which ultimately sends his life in a downward spiral. It shows the upside and the downside of having a career in Wall Street, which is not all that glamorous as the myth goes.
- Money for Nothing (2013)
Focusing on the Federal Reserve, this film tells a story about the history of the Reserves by way of interviews with economists, federal officials and historians. It is a documentary on the policies of the US Government and takes a critical look at the 100 year old Federal system.
- The Corporation (2003)
With the opening line – “One hundred and fifty years ago, the business corporation was a relatively insignificant institution. Today, it is all pervasive”, this movie focuses on the concept of “corporations” and how it has become an evil in the society. It is inclined towards the legal aspects of business and is an interesting watch.
- Boiler Room (2000)
Most people associate finance with a glamorous image, this movie depicts the exact opposite. It shows finance at its worst. It is about a securities fraud and mainly focuses on the lives of sales people. A famous quote from this movie is: And there is no such thing as a no-sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock, or he sells you on a reason he can’t”.
- The Ascent of Money (2008 documentary)
This movie is based on a book with the same title and it portrays the history of finance and its evolution including – money, bonds, markets, insurance and leading up to the subprime mortgage crisis. It conveys a key lesson that what goes up comes down and that history repeats itself over and over. It is 120 minutes long but pretty fast paced.
- Trillion Dollar Bet (2000)
This is a 48 minutes long documentary based on options pricing. It is about the Black Scholes Merton options pricing formula and the fall of the hedge fund management firm – Long Term Capital Management (LTCM). It includes discussions with Economics Nobel Prize 1997 winners Robert Merton and Myron Scholes. It warns against the blind following of formulae in finance and trading.
So, which ones have you watched? Which ones do you plan to watch? Do you want to suggest any other movies which we should have mentioned? In case you would like to suggest us any other movies, feel free to comment here and we shall cover them in our next article ! Subscribe us via email and we will deliver our next article, right in your mailbox!