Christmas holidays are coming, which, besides lots of food, candies and family visits, should give us a little time for a quiet rest and procrastination. If you’re in love with charts, markets and everything about trading, just as we are, let’s rather watch a movie about trading and the stresses associated with it: o) Here is our selection of films that no trading fan should miss.
A highly acclaimed 24-hour story of the key figures of an investment bank at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis. The film is about a young analyst starring Zachary Quint, who first reveals the information that could bankrupt a bank he works for. This is followed by the attempt to spill toxic assets into other investment banks, thus saving the given bank, but deepening the crisis of others.
The film with Ewan McGregor is based on real events. The film deals with Nick Leeson, who, by his trading on the Singaporean stock exchange, literally liquidated his British-based Barings Bank, which was founded in 1762. Leeson had an arbitrage system trying to profit from the differences in Nikkei 225 futures contracts listed on the stock exchange in Osaka, Japan and the Singapore International Stock Exchange. Instead of a fast-track arbitrage business, however, he began to hold long-term positions, and not only as a Floor Manager but also as Head of Settlement Operations, he managed to cover his losses which grew up to £887 million during the year, bankrupting the whole bank. Surely we can all get to Nick Leeson’s skin when we see him scared of the open losses that he is afraid to close.
On the first look a very trustworthy bank manager with a gambling problem and access to multi-million dollar assets, he gets into a precarious situation that results in the biggest bank fraud in Canadian history. The film is a great example of what happens to a trader who refuses to admit the loss.
Enron – The smartest guys in the room
A documentary based on the 2003 book that deals with one of the biggest scandals in American history. The documentary maps the rise and fall of company Enron, which had employed more than 20,000 people at a time. Through the testimony of former employees and journalists, we witness how the company has deliberately traded on the energy market, falsified accounting and much more that led to its end.
In order to relax from amoral negotiations, bank failures and financial crises, we will mention the 1983 Trading Places comedy. In the film, a young commodity trader and a street dude will both exchange their places in the company. In the background, two arrogant millionaires who enjoy their experiments.
The Big Short
Again, a well-known film starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt deals with the 2008 mortgage crisis. The film describes the very cause of the crisis when it was possible in the US to get a 100% mortgage on a luxury home almost without any income. The top four heroes bet that the economy can not grow indefinitely and bets on the financial crisis that really came three years later. Over the course of three years, they are going through a rather difficult period of stress and misunderstanding, but they endure. In this film, it is again shown that insisting on your beliefs and refusing to acknowledge the loss can also be paid a great deal.