Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Go see Maxed Out -- a look at America's debt crisis

First of all, I have not seen Maxed Out. I saw the trailer a couple weeks ago and was intrigued by its promise to show me how the “modern financial industry really works.” Watch it here, at the movie’s fansite: MaxedOutBuzz.com. Looks interesting, no?

Here are some blurbs from the movie’s website:

    Maxed Out reveals the secrets of the new bank. John Ballew, a Midwestern banker whose neighborhood bank has been merged so many times he's lost count, tells us why suggestive selling is the primary qualification for working at a modern bank.
    Maxed Out reveals that the financial industry's best customers are the broke and the bankrupt. The most profitable niche of the industry is called "alternative" or "sub-prime"—euphemisms for a business formerly known as loan-sharking.
    Maxed Out delves into the heart of the information business. David Szwak, a prominent Shreveport attorney, reveals that 90 percent of credit reports—those forms that now determine whether we get a job, a home and insurance—have errors on them, yet the credit bureaus aren't doing anything to correct the situation.
Obviously this movie is anti-bank. I don’t know if it mentions credit unions at all, or if it offers any solutions for people looking to get out of debt. After reading the cast of “characters”, including Suze Orman, Bud Hibbs, Alan Greenspan, Elizabeth Warren, I’m optimistic there will be some impressive and insightful commentary.

Maxed Out is playing in limited release. It will show at Seattle’s Varsity Theatre on March 9. Check here for show times in other cities.

Side note: the director was raised in Seattle and the movie showed at last summer’s SIFF.

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