Department of Finance Presents “Financial Crisis Movie Night”

February 28, 2019

Baton Rouge – The financial crisis of 2008 was the most devastating global economic event since the Great Depression but many students do not know much about it except for what they read in books and discuss in class. Because an understanding of the “Great Recession” of 2008 is so important to an understanding of our current economy and because the event is still fresh in the minds of potential employers, the Department of Finance is presenting a three-part Financial Crisis Movie Night series to help students develop an appreciation for the root causes of the event and how the world responded.

“The Great Recession hit in 2008 but its roots extend back to 2001 when most of our students were not yet in grade school,” says Department of Finance instructor Brian Andrews who is putting on the series. “While we can teach students the history of what happened in the classroom, our intent is to help student understand the event at a deeper, even personal level. They will then be able to see the warning signs when this sort of event comes around again.”

The first film, “House of Cards” produced by CNBC, was shown on Feb. 19, 2019 with CNBC correspondent David Faber investigating “the origins of the global economic crisis, with first person accounts from home buyers, mortgage brokers, investment bankers and investors – most of whom let greed blind them, leading to the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression” according to CNBC’s website. Attendees were treated to comments by our own Joseph Mason, PhD, who was featured in the film.

The next film, 2015’s “The Big Short” will be shown in the BEC auditorium on March 12, 2019. According to Wikipedia, The Big Short is an American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay. Written by McKay and Charles Randolph, it is based on the 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis showing how the financial crisis of 2007–2008 was triggered by the United States housing bubble. The film stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, John Magaro, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Finn Wittrock, and Marisa Tomei.

The film is noted for the unconventional techniques it employs to explain complex financial instruments. Among others, it features cameo appearances by actress Margot Robbie, chef Anthony Bourdain, singer-songwriter Selena Gomez, and economist Richard Thaler, who break the fourth wall to explain concepts such as subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations as a meta-reference. Several other actors directly address the audience, most frequently Gosling, who serves as the narrator.

The series is free and there is no need to register.

About the Department of Finance The Department of Finance offers high-quality curricula to undergraduate and graduate students interested in careers in corporate finance, asset management, real estate, insurance, banking, financial planning and business law. The department boasts internationally renowned research faculty in several areas, including derivatives, asset management, banking and spatial econometrics. The department’s Securities Markets Analysis Research & Trading Lab utilizes the Bloomberg Professional service, the platform used by more than 300,000 leading business and financial professionals worldwide to make informed business decisions, and an extensive library of financial databases including the Wharton WRDS System. Additionally, the department encourages, supports and conducts research in real estate by housing the nationally renowned Real Estate Research Institute. For more information, visit our home page or call 225-578-6291.

About the E. J. Ourso College of Business Since its establishment in 1928, the E. J. Ourso College of Business has continuously improved and expanded its offerings for students and alumni. Additionally, the college has made it a priority to provide its faculty with the resources it needs to further research in every aspect of the business world and to produce industry leaders for a global work environment. For more news and information about the E. J. Ourso College, visit


Contact: Elizabeth Eaton
LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business