The Legal Perspective
This paper explores the numerous examples of potentially illegal practices featured in the film ‘The Inside Job’. The film generally depicts the financial meltdown particularly in the USA. It features many potentially illegal practices such as actions, affirmative statements, fraud, omissions and schemes which in themselves have long run implications. Some of the practices may constitute fraud. The rule of law applied here is Fraud in the inducement ( voidable by the innocent party). It is explored in five elements.
The paper also explores whether the analyzed practice from a legal perspective and weighs on whether victims would prevail against the perpetrators in a court of law.
The Legal Perspective
There are numerous examples of illegal activities in the film. An affirmative statement is heard at the start of the film where one of the culprits facing a court of law says that “we deeply regret our breaches of the US laws” this goes ahead to show that the culprit is well aware of their fraud charges. Further, the government goes ahead to endorse Bills and Acts such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 and the Modernisation Act of 2000 in an attempt to hide the fraudulent activities of the big firms such as Citigroup. the laws banned the regulation of financial derivatives at the same time excluding them from Anti-gambling laws
The film also depicts illegal actions such as money laundering, defrauding of customers and cases of tax evasion. Examples of these fraudulent actions are seen in the Credit Suisse and the UBS fraud case of 1999.
Scheming is also seen outright when a new law to regulate the mortgage industry by the Federal Reserve is passed but Alan Greenspan refuses to enact the regulations deeming them unnecessary. Investment banks are seen to promote internet companies such as Infospace and Excite that would soon fail. The banks had hoped to reap massive gains at expense of the public.
Evidence that would otherwise implicate the big firms in their heinous activities is done away with. Such is the case in Credit Suisse. Evidence showing that it was Iranian was concealed. Further, there is either omission or altering of their financial records otherwise referred to as ‘ cooking their books’ in frantic efforts to evade taxes. In 2000 Arthur Andersen, an auditor , was convicted of justice obstruction for shredding Enron’s documents.
Investigations carried out between 2000-2009 on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac revealed astounding accounting fraud. Worldcom is also said to have inflated its assets by $11 billion. Executives on Wall Street are said to have spent corporate money for their own entertainment which goes further to include third parties such as prostitutes, who reveal that they have black cards at their disposal.
The film is a clear exhibit of fraud which in itself is a serious crime, and those involved should be convicted in a court of law. Despite the overwhelming evidence, there is no conviction of anybody in the elite ranks of Wall Street. This is because most of them have friends in high places including the White House. They are therefore bound to go unpunished for their activities. At the outburst of the financial crisis their kitty goes untouched while the ordinary person suffers the most. The ordinary person is left not only unemployed but also homeless. The elites are also likely to be charged in a court of law from the allegedly use to cocaine to promoting prostitution and misappropriation of corporate funds. If these allegations are made to stick legally, they are likely to bend the rules as usual and get away with it.
The intensitfying recurrent financial crisis heavily influenced by the elite shroud the economy with fraud and leaves the people with no confidence in the system. The only solution is to repair our moral fabric which will in turn repair the broken financial system.
Bringing the perpetrators to justice can prove tricky due to lack of evidence, which they carefully conceal, and bearing in mind the massive influence they have in the justice department.