Advisor versus Film: Margin Call (2011)

Expert: Kent Womack, professor of finance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and past vice president of equities at Goldman Sachs.

Set at a fictional Lehman Brothers-style investment firm in the early days of the 2008 financial crisis, Margin Call (2011) bills itself as an inside look at the meltdown. It stars Zachary Quinto as a young risk analyst, Peter, who discovers unstable assets could bankrupt the firm. The news goes up the corporate ladder, from Peter’s manager Will (Paul Bettany) to his boss’s boss, Sam (Kevin Spacey) all the way to CEO John (Jeremy Irons). Over the course of a night, they concoct a risky trading scheme in a last-ditch effort to limit damage to the company.

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The film gets most things about the investment world right, but exaggerates some aspects, says Kent Womack, finance professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

So what’s right and what’s wrong?

For the full review, and our accuracy rating, click here.

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