Banking on film: Cheers, Kev
To Berlin, where film star Kevin Spacey was ruminating on life as a senior bank executive in his new movie Margin Call, which was screened at the city’s film festival in mid-February. Spacey muses that he found it "fascinating to try to humanize" bankers, people who – in his words – "in a lot of cases are just regular people who have regular jobs". According to the New York Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, the actor researched the role at Citigroup’s Lower Manhattan offices last June, asking employees: "Is it possible to be good at what you do without liking the company you work for?" Presumably not too many people rushed to answer that one. He also wanted to know: "If you knew a security was worthless and wanted to sell it, how would you grapple with the moral implications of doing so?" That must have produced a few furrowed brows as well. The film (which focuses on MBS traders) is directed by JC Chandor, whose father used to work at Merrill Lynch and might have provided some illuminating insights. "The film to me is a tragedy," he says, because these people are "realizing that they have wasted a little bit of their lives, or a lot of their lives."