Watch Capitalism: A Love Story
- 2 hr
Capitalism: A Love Story is a political documentary by Academy Award winner Michael Moore about the American system of economics and its far reaching consequences into the social and daily lives of citizens. Released in 2009 after the financial meltdown, the film uses archival footage, personal interviews, news excerpts and social satire to question whether capitalism actually serves the vast majority of the population. The film begins with a comparison of the Roman Empire and the United States and then presents a statement by then President Jimmy Carter warning the American public of the dangers of "self-indulgence and consumption." Then, Moore explores how corporations gained power during President Reagan’s administration, as deregulation, union busting and questionable insurance company policies have hurt everyday citizens. In interviews with Catholic priests, Moore considers how contrary the rules of capitalism are to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Moore travels to Wall Street to better understand the complicated financial transaction like derivatives and credit default swaps that helped create the 2008 financial crisis, by interviewing columnist Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal, former Lehman Brothers VP Marcus Haupt, and Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff. Moore concludes that Wall Street is “an insane casino” rather than a structured and equally accessible financial system. Moore then investigates the connection between the political class in Washington DC and the business interests of Wall Street. Beginning with the role of Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve between 1987 and 2006, Moore details how senators, members of the House, and other politicians were granted special rates and favors by banking interests. Moore investigates how the 2008 federal bailout engineered by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who formerly served as the CEO of Goldman Sachs, was basically a "financial coup d'état” of the American taxpayer. In an interview with Elizabeth Warren, the US Congressional Oversight Committee head, Moore tries to discover where the 700 billion bailout dollars have been spent. Neither Warren or the Secretary of Treasury can provide an answer, nor can Moore gain entry to any of the banks or financial institutions that received funds to explain the money’s disbursement. The film then moves to the 2008 election, where Moore finds hope in candidate Barack Obama, who has the potential to fulfill the words of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who calls for a Second Bill of Rights in archival footage. Roosevelt wants to guarantee for all Americans to have "a useful job, a decent home, adequate health care, and a good education." Moore concludes his argument for a fairer democracy, where rule by the people rather than by money, by showing him placing police barricades around banks and Wall Street.