Five of my favorite ‘money themed’ movies in no particular order…
The Business Of Being Born (2008)
Physicians like control and don’t like surprises. You can’t predict the exact day a child will be born, but you can with a C-Section!
In 2008, more than 32% of child births in the US were delivered through C-Sections! One of the highest in the world! Natural child birth is frowned upon here – something that is very normal and not to mention natural, for the majority of this planet’s population.
This is a fascinating movie.
The High Cost Of Low Prices (2005)
This movie with a very catchy title is about the world’s largest retail store Walmart. Walmart takes capitalism to a whole new level effectively shutting down small business in its path. The movie also gives a glimpse of the Walton family, America’s richest family. After 9/11 they decided they needed to prepare for any apocalyptic attack that might wipe out mankind – so they built themselves a nuclear bunker with helipads!
The movie also takes a look at their philanthropic pursuits. In 2004, the family donated $3.2 million on conservative causes and for lobbying and yet could only spare $6000 for the Critical Need Fund, a fund setup to help fellow Walmart employees in times of distress.
Walmart employees donated $5 million.
This is a great movie with lots of mind blowing facts about Walmart. May not stop you from shopping at Walmart but might atleast make you feel guilty!
Super Size Me! (2004)
We all know junk food isn’t good for us. But how? What exactly happens to you if you decide to live on junk food? That’s exactly what Morgan Spurlock, the lead in this movie decided to find out. Spurlock decides to live off of McDonald’s meals for a month and Super Size Me is about the physical and psychological effects of this.
And no there were no fast food lawsuits after this movie! In fact, McDonalds stopped asking its customers if they wanted to supersize their fries with their order!
This is actually a very entertaining movie!
Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room (2006)
I wish everyone watched this movie. Enron was the darling of Wall Street. It was named the ‘most admired’ company by no less than Fortune magazine! The company was making consistent profits and even survived the dot-com bust! One fine day, Enron was shutdown and some of it’s top executives are behind bars today.
If you lived in California in the early 2000s, this will hit you especially hard. Most who lived there would remember the rolling blackouts. Frequent power cuts that put that state to shame. There was no power shortage. They were artificially created by Enron to drive California’s electricity prices high! (To draw a parallel today, the high gas prices today has got nothing to do with supply. There is enough oil, but the prices spike up due to speculation. Enron was doing the same with California’s electricity)
Jeffrey Skilling, the CEO of Enron jokes about California’s energy crisis which he was directly responsible
What is the difference between California and the Titanic? At least when the Titanic went down, the lights were on!
All Enron cared about was stock prices and how to keep it high. They even had a stock ticker in their elevator! And to keep its stock prices high, Enron went to great lengths, booking unrealized profits and skirting the law.
The scene where a gas line worker’s 401K is decimated by plummeting stock prices after the scandal is hard to watch.
But the movie has a happy ending. The then CEO of Enron, Jefferey Skilling in now behind bars for his role in the scandal serving a 24 year prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado.
Trading Places (1983)
This is one of my favorites! The wealthy Duke brothers attempt to settle the age-old debate: ‘Are you what you are due to your environment or is that decided at birth’? The brothers decide to switch the lives of the highly sophisticated Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) with that of the poor homeless hustler, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). Billy Ray is given the keys to Winthorpe’s mansion and Winthorpe is framed for robbery and drugs!
What happens next is quite hilarious! The final scene at the trading floor with the Duke brothers driving the price of frozen orange juice before the crop report and its aftermath is riveting!
The movie was probably inspired by a real life incident relating to the Hunt brothers when they tried to play the Silver market resulting in the 1980 ‘Silver Thursday’ crash.
Have you watched any of these movies? What’s your favorite?