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15 March 2012

Margin Call, which starts screening this week, is a reminder that finance is both necessary and dangerous, writes John Quiggin in Inside Story

THE plot of Margin Call is simple, in fact minimal. A large investment bank discovers that its investments are un­sound. Management meets through the night and organises an all-out effort to dump the toxic assets on its counterparties before the news gets out. We see the outcome of this rescue bid as the film draws to a close.

The tension in this understated but compelling movie arises from the fact that most of the participants face the possibility that their careers are over, either because the firm no longer needs them, or because the trading partners on whom they have dumped the assets will never trust them again…

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Photo: Susan Blackwell as HR manager Lauren Bratberg in Margin Call.

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