In one of the defining sequences of The Big Short, a film about the 2007-08 financial crisis, a team of hedge fund managers go to Florida. They meet a pair of sleazy mortgage brokers who reveal how the US housing market is propped up by subprime loans to strippers, people with no job or income and immigrants who do not understand the paperwork. One of the managers calls up his trader and declares: “Hey, there’s a bubble.”

The film, based on the Michael Lewis book of the same name, goes on to track how a small group of investors make billions by betting against the market as the bubble bursts, causing disaster across the global financial system and triggering one of the worst recessions in modern history.

It lays out what has become the standard story of the crisis: new financial instruments allowed speculators and low-income households to go on a wild borrowing binge, inflating an almighty boom in the US housing market, which…

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