The movie version of Andrew Ross Sorkin's "Too Big To Fail" aired Monday night on HBO. Overall, the fast-paced movie portrays the government players as hard-working, caring people who never saw disaster coming.
Their four biggest failures: not lining up British approval of Barclays' deal for Lehman; nearly announcing Lehman's bankruptcy without telling Lehman; having no idea AIG was in deep trouble; and not realizing that using Tarp to buy lousy assets would have such a long lead time that it wouldn't stabilize markets.
Here's how the major players came off. Remember, it's just a movie:
- Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson: tough, determined, diligent.
- Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke: professorial, reasonable, a touch goofy
- Former NY Fed president/current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: blunt, restless.
- Former SEC Chairman Chris Cox: scared, clueless.
- Lehman Bros Dick Fuld: delusional
- Merrill Lynch's John Thain: selfish
- JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon: problem-solver
- Goldman Sach's Lloyd Blankfein: skeptical
- Morgan Stanley's John Mack: independent
- Citigroup's Vikram Pandit: arrogant
- Investor Warren Buffett: reluctant, savvy dealmaker
Did you watch? Were your impressions the same? How close to reality do you think the movie is?