The Crash (2017)


The Crash is an American thriller film, written and directed by Aram Rappaport and produced by Aaron Becker, Isaac La Mell, Kristi Gescheidler, Atit Shah, Hilary Shor and Peter Shuldiner. The film stars Minnie Driver, Frank Grillo, Dianna Agron, AnnaSophia Robb, Maggie Q, Mary McCormack, Ed Westwick, Christopher McDonald, and John Leguizamo

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An interesting look at what may happen if the US stock market was hacked. Whilst this isn’t an a-list film, it does have a few familiar faces. I thought the story was intriguing, if not entirely plausible.

Almost exactly a year ago, economists at Royal Bank of Scotland advised clients to sell everything ahead of a stock market crash. They forecast a “cataclysmic” year with a 20% slump in shares and oil plunging to $16 a barrel. “Sell everything except high quality bonds,” they said. It turned into one of the best-read stories on the Guardian’s business pages – and RBS was hopelessly, gloriously wrong.

Rogers: Well, it’s interesting because these things always start where we’re not looking. In 2007, Iceland went broke. People said, ‘Iceland? Is that a country? They have a market?’ And then Ireland went broke. And then Bear Stearns went broke. And Lehman Brothers went broke. They spiral like that.  Always happens where we’re not looking.

World champion Peter Sagan has been disqualified from the Tour for causing the crash on stage four involving Mark Cavendish. At the end of a largely uneventful stage, Sagan cut across Cavendish’s racing line and nudged him with an elbow to cause the Manx sprinter to hit the side barriers hard. Sagan won stage three and came second here, but will play no further part in this year’s Tour

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This week I received a new warning of impending doom, albeit from a firm of investment managers rather than one of the casino banks. “Could the FTSE 100 fall by 40%” was the headline on a note from Adrian Lowcock at Architas, part of the giant Axa group. It came amid the FTSE closing at a record high for the 14th day in a row, the longest such stretch in history. The note warned how during the bubble in December 1999, the FTSE 100 peaked at 6930, but collapsed to just 3436 three years later – a fall of 50.4%.

This is the longest or second-longest in recorded history, so it’s coming. And the next time it comes — you know, in 2008, we had a problem because of debt. Henry, the debt now, that debt is nothing compared to what’s happening now.

Goofs The postscript of the movie states that, since the creation of the Federal Reserve, there has been, on average, one financial crisis every 10 years. Actually, in the first 75 years of its existence, there has only been one . The 10 (to 15) year cycle of financial crises occurred before the Fed’s creation (and returned with Reagan).

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Blodget: And we are in a situation where Western civilization already seems to be possibly collapsing, even with the market going up all the time. Often when you do have a financial calamity, you get huge turmoil in the political system. What happens politically if that happens?

Ironically, it’s not the defeated candidate but the victor of the last election whose lifestyle is most evoked by this film’s protagonist. Rather than being a real-estate tycoon and reality-TV star, however, Guy Clifton (Frank Grillo) is a flashy criminal who has managed to hold onto his palatial estate despite having been indicted for illegal stock-trading activities that have entailed some masterly hacking skills on his part.

On 12 January 2016, at the time of RBS’s forecast, the FTSE 100 index stood at 5929. One year later, on 12 January 2017, the index was at 7337 – an all-time high. Rather than crashing by 20%, the market jumped by 24%. If a client with £100,000 had followed RBS’s advice, pouring all their money into quality corporate bonds, it would today be worth around £106,000 – and probably much less after paying transaction costs. If they had left it tracking the FTSE 100 it would be worth around £124,000.

I don’t know. It could be an American pension plan that goes broke, and many of them are broke, as you know. It could be some country we’re not watching. It could be all sorts of things. It could be war — unlikely to be war, but it’s going to be something. When you’re watching Business Insider and you see, “That’s so interesting. I didn’t know that company could go broke.” It goes broke. Send me an email, and then I’ll start watching.

Rogers: They will try. What’s going to happen is, they’re going to raise interest rates some more. Then when things start going really bad, people are going to call and say, “You must save me. It’s Western civilization. It’s going to collapse.” And the Fed, who is made up of bureaucrats and politicians, will say, “Well, we better do something.” And they’ll try, but it won’t work. It’ll cause some rallies, but it won’t work this time.

Aram Rappaport directed the film from a script he wrote and developed with the help of Hilary Shor. Rappaport’s second feature film, 2013’s Syrup — an adaptation of the 1999 novel by Max Barry — starred Amber Heard and actor Shiloh Fernandez, both hired by Rappaport before their careers had taken off. “My relationship with Aram was formed under the trials of shooting on such a small budget,” says “Jekyll Island” producer Hilary Shor, whose other recent credits include The Paperboy with Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron and Lee Daniels The Butler. “I have faith he will develop into an extraordinary filmmaker, and I was happy to be able to nurture that talent.” said Shor.

We’ve had financial problems in America — let’s use America — every four to seven years, since the beginning of the republic. Well, it’s been over eight since the last one.

Title:The Crash
Runtime:80 min.
Genre:Crime, Thriller
Stars:Frank Grillo, Minnie Driver, AnnaSophia Robb, Dianna Agron, Ed Westwick, Mary McCormack

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