MOVIE-LIKE FRAUDS: 3 films on financial fraud and risk management
written by Pablo Restrepo Giraldo, On February 02, 2020
Unless you live in the woods cut off from society, we all have something to do, in one way or another, with the financial system. The payments we receive from the places we work, loans to buy a house, pay for a trip or pay for studies. It is where our savings are kept and, along with them, the time we invest in achieving them.
That is why when a financial fraud is discovered it has so many repercussions, because it affects many lives and in very serious ways: loss of homes, family wealth and the downfall of entire companies to the point of shaking the economy of an entire country.
Some of the biggest frauds have been so colossal that the cinema has become infatuated with their stories and characters to tell them. Find a guide with three of the financial frauds that have been in the movies here.
WIZARD OF LIES
(El mago de las mentiras, in Spanish)
In recent years, pyramid schemes have become increasingly popular in different economic sectors. Some have delivered what they promise their investors to a certain extent, and others, a large number, have left people waiting for a return on their profits or, at least, some of what they have invested.
The Bernard Madoff scandal is the largest in the financial world to be perpetrated by a single person. In 2008, the pyramid system, through which he managed to steal more than 64.8 billion dollars from small, medium and large investors, was discovered.
The story was brought to the screen by HBO under the name of Wizard of Lies starring Robert De Niro.
THE BIG SHORT
(La gran apuesta, in Spanish)
The great economic crisis experienced by the United States between 2007 and 2010 was of such that it affected the global economy. Many of the data collected afterwards point to the fact that the crisis was created, or at least known, by leaders of major banks on Wall Street, who went unpunished at the end of the crisis, endorsed by risk rating companies.
The Big Short tells the story of the group of people who discovered the anomalies on the stock market that would later cause its collapse. With a touch of comedy, it explains the complex issues that caused more than a million Americans to lose their homes.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
(El lobo de Wall Street, in Spanish)
Wall Street is the cradle of modern capitalism. This is where all new financial strategies are developed and through which the economic future of major companies worldwide operate.
The Wolf of Wall Street shows us the life of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker loaded with ambition that starts out selling investments of great amounts of money on shares with little projection, which made large sums of money for both him and his partners, while investors lost their savings and capital.
As you can see, economic frauds take multiple shapes and occur more off the screen than you think. To learn more about this, download our free introductory guide to risk management.