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Playing By Numbers

MaRX aND COCa-COLa JOSHUA CLOVER PL AYING BY NUMBERS Margin Call (J. C. Chandor) Moneyball (Bennett Miller) Two new entrants into the burgeoning genre of cinéma de la crise offer strangely distorted meditations on the place of number: the rhyming pair of Margin Call and Moneyball. Being a fictional, triumph-of-the-little-guy movie about the Oakland A’s baseball team, the latter might not seem an obvious candidate for inclusion in this topical category, but it is well to note that Moneyball is based on a book by the journalist Michael Lewis. He has been writing about the financial crisis since before it began: Liar’s Poker, written in the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis near last millennium’s end, captured the era of securitization and complex meta-speculation early in its flight. It also introduced us to new players in the drama of high finance: the “young professors,” high-powered numbers guys who in another age would have taught applied mathematics, but now toil as highly paid “quants” in the finance shops. For whom do they work? Of course they are employed by the very firms that vaporized speculative megatons of capital quite recently, ratcheting up global immiseration with a pop. And yet http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Film Quarterly University of California Press
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