6

Because problems with the banks' finances were what caused the recession The thing about the Great Recession is that ti was caused, to a large extent, by dodgy behaviour in banks. They made paper profits by growing their derivative businesses which were ultimately dependent on the growth of mortgage lending to people who could not really afford to pay back ...


5

The dog is a metaphore for his job and the business he is in (or at least the team that he is running). Rogers is a compassionate character, but also a practical one; he cares about the work, but is not afraid to take hard decisions. His speech at the end shows that he recognises what he has done. The film focuses on his moral choices. The dog is a selfish ...


4

Everyone always thinks they are on the good side or at least doing something neutral (and winning while doing it). That is a main topic of the movie and mentioned several times. Money is neutral; the people want it this way, even if they are complaining; they will only hang us if the system crashes, otherwise they take their share and nobody will be ...


4

The security procedure is common in many US and UK companies. It's not to prevent the release of sensitive information per se, that's primarily taken care of by restricting access to the company's servers, email and the like. The purpose of the escort is to avoid any make sure the person being terminated doesn't cause any outburst or commotion. In extreme ...


4

There isn't one investment bank that Margin Call is based on. There were several banks in mid-2008 who recognized around the same time that the mortgage-backed securities they bundled and sold were a lot less stable than previous thought. To avoid holding them on the books they tried to sell them as fast as they could. For dramatic effect they condensed ...


4

Summary Eric found out that they have a lot of toxic assets They want to sell them in one day before anyone else finds out Since Eric knows everything, they want him under their control and to keep quiet They use the carrot and stick approach: Either a lot of money or ruin Why do they need him? What difference does it make that he's back at the company, ...


3

Head of risk management does not seem the natural place to start cutting jobs. Risk management is a cost center rather than a profit center. That is, it doesn't make the company any money in the present, even though arguably it keeps the company from loosing money in the future. Depending on the culture of the company they may be regarded as just so much ...


2

In the US only law enforcement officers are allowed to frisk you for personal belongings (without consent) once you've been placed under arrest(?). It's considered assault to so much as grab something out of someone else's hand, let alone hold them against their will, frisk them and/or reach into their pockets to retrieve what may or may not be personal ...


1

According to this article: Imagine if Merrill Lynch had been smarter, like Goldman Sachs, a few years ago. The investment bank would have realized it was holding too many dodgy mortgage securities and sold them off to buyers who didn’t yet think the market would blow. Those clients might have then landed in trouble. But Merrill would have avoided a fire ...


1

Will's comment is analogous to the sayings, "there's no helping some people," "some people are just a glutton for punishment," or "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." Will and Eric work in risk management at the firm. Their job is to warn the higher-ups about potentially calamitous risks such as we see ...


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