Netflix and chill á la Lundaekonom

Tired of wasting time scrolling indecisively on Netflix and end up rewatching something lame just for the sake of it? Then look no further! This is the perfect movie list for some Sunday evening unwinding.

Since all of the suggestions below are fully or partly based on true events you might find something that is both entertaining and increases your knowledge in economically related events – Perfect for relaxing without feeling the guilt from procrastinating homework! So, go get your snacks, put on your coziest outfit, and end the week with watching something from the list below!

Dirty Money

Dirty Money (2018-) is a Netflix produced documentary series that looks into the aftermath caused by decisions made on greed and/or corruption. Each of the episodes is independent of one another and features a new case. One of the most interesting episodes, in my opinion, is the first one, “Hard Nox” (S1: E1). The episode features the scandal about Volkswagen and what they did in order to keep publishing false statements about their cars’ levels of emissions. Another interesting episode is “The Wagon Wheel” (S2: E1). This one features the American bank Wells Fargo that for a long time had held the status of being the darling child in banking. Other episodes I highly recommend to watch are “Drug Short” (S1: E3) and “The man at the top” (S2: E2).

Fartblinda

Fartblinda (2019) is a Swedish series based on economics journalist Carolina Neurath’s book with the same title from 2016. Carolina Neurath is quite the badass and has among other things been awarded the Swedish journalist prize Guldspaden for her investigative journalism on the Swedish accounting industry. Not only has Neaurath covered the scandalous events related to HQ-bank as a reporter but she has also written a book about it. The book made massive headlines as she exposed how the founder of the bank, Mats Qviberg, had made huge coverups for the failures of the
the bank which was caused by some very risky decisions made in the trading section.

In the series Fartblinda, the narrative follows a quite similar path to the one around Mats Qviberg and HQ-bank. In the series, we follow economics journalist Bea Farkas who begins some digging on ST-banken while simultaneously having an affair with the, married, president of the bank,
Peder Rooth. While Peder Rooth struggles with keeping up appearances and trying to solve the bank’s issues the series let us witness a series of desperate measures taken to keep the bank and its reputation afloat and intact.

The Wolf of Wallstreet

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) is probably a movie you might have seen before, but hey, it’s quite funny so it suits perfectly for a Sunday evening movie night. The movie is based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir and describes the stockbroker’s rise and fall as the “Wolf of Wall Street” during the ’90s. Although it is listed as a “biographical criminal-comedy” the creators behind it have admitted to the fact that it wasn’t supposed to be a comedy from the beginning but that it was all of the absurdity, based on true events,
that made it one.

*Note from Editor-in-chief: For those that like the movie, Jordan Belfort’s Book of the same name is even more absurd than Scorsese’s portrayal.

The Big Short

The Big Short (2015) is probably another movie you already have seen before; but why not watch it again, It’s great – and the academy agrees! For instance, this wall street biographical comedy-drama has been nominated for several awards and even won best-adapted screenplay. The movie follows, among others, Michael Burry (based on Michael Burry), Mark
Baum (based on Steve Eisman) and Jared Vennet (based on Greg Lippmann) who calls the bluff on the American housing market in the belief that there is a housing bubble. The movie is based on real events from Michael Lewis’s book “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” and takes place before and during the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 where the housing bubble, made possible by several financial institutions, was a big trigger.

Furthermore, I think it is worth shedding some light on this film due to the current situation in America where JPow (Jerome Powell) and the federal
reserve basically let’s “the money printer go brrr ”in an attempt to prop up the bond market and hereby prevent an economic downturn… Whichhh
I mean quite possibly could cause some new
macro-economic events to take place in the
future. So if we are lucky (or unlucky) we might
get to see some new names within the Short market with another portrayal by Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt & Steve Carell.

Betting on Zero

Betting on Zero (2016) is a documentary that investigates the public company Herbalife that provides nutritional products and supplements. Herbalife applies MLM, multi-level marketing, where the resellers both get paid from the products they sell and royalties from people they themselves have recruited to the company. In the documentary from 2016, we get to follow hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and the course of his bet against Herbalife as he believes the company is a pyramid scheme. Earlier this year Ackman made headlines by making perhaps “the single best trade of all time” – (W. D. Cohan, April 29, 2020. “Who’s Profiting From the Coronacrisis”, The New York Times) which makes it even more interesting to follow him and his whopping one billion dollars short position in Herbalife.

The Laundromat

The Laundromat (2019) is a Netflix-produced film based on journalist and author Jake Bernstein’s book Secrecy World. The book covers the evolution of so-called offshore companies and the leak of the infamous Panama Papers. The film, unlike the book, consists of both fractions based on true events and fiction. In the film, we get to follow Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) and her journey when she starts to investigate a fake insurance policy that turns out to be linked to a Panama City law firm. The firm’s partners, Mossack & Fonseca, narrate the film and in a humorous way, we get to follow how their corporate services and offshore accounts enable the mega-wealthy to indulge in illegal and corrupt activities. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that “Mossack Fonseca” actually was the real name of the law firm that became the source of the millions of documents leaked by whistleblower “John Doe” in the Panama Papers in 2016. Due to this, some media outlets also substituted “the Panama Papers” to “Mossack Fonseca papers” in order to not tarnish the country’s image.

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