Monday, October 24, 2011

Margin Call

I had been anxiously awaiting the release of “Margin Call” which follows a night and day in the world of a fictional investment bank’s fixed income department.  The quants in this group find an error in a formula used to evaluate the banks risk which leads to drama at all levels of the bank.

The previews looked very exciting to me.  I have watched the popular finance movies including “Wall Street”, “Wall Street II” and “Boiler Room”.  I think Margin Call was equally entertaining.  Some reviews say that Margin Call will not do well with non-finance individuals as it is less stylized and more realistic than most popular films.  This is proving true at the box office as its opening weekend only brought in $0.6M while 74% of reviewers liked it.

I was particularly impressed with the acting.  The characters are all very smart, talented individuals.  They also live an affluent life style.  Some of the characters have lost their way as banks have tapped employees from a diverse array of fields including engineers and scientists.

It is certainly not a must watch.  For me it was exciting as I would love to work in finance and this was a peek into the high stakes political minefield associated with banking.

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