“Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis”
This documentary focuses on the recent world financial bubble. It is an eye-opener as it offers facts that contradict the financial fantasy that many people live in, including buying a house or living a luxurious lifestyle through loans that you can’t pay off. This spending binge resulted in the worst financial crisis in decades with a lot of people losing their property. It makes you think twice about borrowing again just to have a lifestyle you cannot support.
“The Ascent of Money”
Based on the book with the same title, the documentary gives you Niall Ferguson’s thesis that the invention of money came from a system of mutual trust. This came from the idea that you could borrow money from other people and pay it on a future date. It further adds that although money does not literally make the world go round, our entire civilization operates heavily on the lending and borrowing of money.
Winning the lottery can make you rich instantly, but your attitude towards money makes a lot of difference. This is filmmaker Jeffrey Blitz’s message as he tells the history of the lottery in America. It also features different lottery winners and the changes they faced with their newfound wealth. It clearly shows that these changes will not always benefit the winner.
Consider this film like Economics 101 as director Patrick Creadon presents the hard truth on how the country’s national debt is increasing rapidly. It also shows Americans’ spending habits and the future hardships that will occur unless spending patterns change. Viewing this film will make you examine how you spend and prepare for the future.
“Why Are We All in Debt? “
This 26-minute documentary is the shortest of this list yet very powerful. Presented by Tarek El Diwany, it shows the deception that led to the financial crisis, which held that in order to pay off your debt, you should borrow more. Aside from presenting the problem, it also offers solutions to help you change your attitude regarding money.
“Too Big to Fail”
“Too Big To Fail” is about the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and other bank bailouts in 2008. Although it says these Wall Street institutions are too big to fail, it makes you doubt the claim. It also makes you realize that if big financial companies can fail, so can you.
This is the story of wizard trader Paul Tudor Jones and his principles regarding money and investing. Aside from an inside look at Wall Street, it also focuses on his generosity as he set up a foundation to help underprivileged youth, which could foster charitable urges in viewers as well.
“The Warning” is about Brooksley Born’s warning to the top financial regulators of the country that a financial crisis can happen because of the government’s lack of transparency, tools for enforcement, and prohibitions against fraud and manipulation. Opponents called her a fraud, but a few months later, everything she claimed would happen did happen.
“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”
Although this documentary focuses on only one company, the portrayal of Enron’s rise and fall is an important lesson on financial fraud. Enron’s accounting fraud fooled even the most savvy financial experts, but eventually the company’s inflated accounts came to light and brought about its downfall in spectacular fashion.
“Capitalism: A Love Story”
The documentary presents capitalism as a give and take relationship where there is more taking than giving. The taking is mostly done by big financial institutions that seem to write the rules while society is burdened by never-ending debt. The only way to stop this is to control your spending habits so that you are not forced to live beyond your means.