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Documentary Trailer: Four Horsemen

Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:10:00 GMT

'Can we turn a free market into a fair market?' asks this New Scientist review of the documentary Four Horsemen which has been made by film-maker Ross Ashcroft, the man behind radical economy website Renegade Economist, and features interviews with a broad swathe of economists from Joseph Stiglitz to Noam Chomsky to Gillian Tett.

Marcus Chown writes in New Scientist:

...As faces appeared on the screen, one at a time, I braced myself for a 90-minute talking-head gloom-fest. But the interviewees, who ranged from University of Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang to Noam Chomsky to Kids Company founder Camilla Batmanghelidj, were remarkably sober - their assessments simple, direct and refreshingly jargon-free.

It is not capitalism that is necessarily at fault, claim the economists, but a particular brand of capitalism, inspired by US economist Milton Friedman, which has prevailed the past 30-odd years. The adherents of such “free-market” capitalism, listened to by politicians from Reagan and Thatcher onwards, have been able to change our very laws, removing one after another of the constraints on their risky behaviour. This culminated in the creation of suicidal financial instruments such as collateral debt obligations (CDOs). These financial tools allow banks to repackage borrowers’ loans (the bank’s debts) and re-sell them on to outside investors. The result was the housing bubble. It was this approach to debt that played such a major role in the global financial crisis of 2008...

“It’s Inside Job with bells on, and a frequently compelling thesis thanks to Ashcroft’s crack team of talking heads – economists, whistleblowers and Noam Chomsky, all talking with candour and clarity.”
- Total Film

“The refreshing thing about this film is that Ross Ashcroft also takes the viewer on a broader journey, linking in terrorism, global warming and poverty along with world finances to present a troubling picture of the world today.”
- Mark Adams, Chief Film Critic Screen International

“Four Horsemen is an important film because it presents a sober picture of what is wrong in a non-hysterical way and will ignite a debate about what can be done to create a fairer, less dysfunctional world.”
- Marcus Chown, New Scientist

“That rare kind of film which is capable of changing one’s perspective on the entire world.”
- Lucy Perdy, Sublime Magazine

You might also be interested in an interview with Ross Ashcroft below, or this selection of clips and interviews which didn't make it into the film which appears on the documentary website.

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