Movies and television series have the incredible power to not only entertain but also educate and inform. When it comes to banking and finance, there are several captivating films and TV shows that delve into the high-stakes world of money, investments, and financial intrigue. Whether you’re a finance enthusiast or just looking for some gripping entertainment, here are 10 must-see movies and series about banking and finance. The list was prepared as part of our new series “BOS4Friday”
1. Wolf from Wall Street
We couldn’t open our list with a movie other than this one. The Wolf of Wall Street was hard not to hear without even having a chance to watch it. The 2013 biographical film about the life of a stockbroker – Jordan Belfort – is a crazy story of big money, the road to the top and risky balancing on the verge of legality.
The director, Martin Scorsese, tells the true story of one of Wall Street’s most controversial heroes. Jordan Belfort was a golden child of the financial world who achieved a stunning financial success thanks to the sale of bogus stocks on the American stock exchange. Quick and tremendous success brought him fortune, power and a sense of impunity, which consequently led Belfort to a spectacular fall. The Wolf of Wall Street is a must-see for anyone who wants to see the American dream in the tough financial world.
2. Billions (2016-)
A series about the district attorney’s fight with the boss of a hedge fund, dealing with not entirely legal financial practices. Billions is a great story about a clash of two strong personalities, tremendous cunning and an even greater ego. The background to this clash is the world of hedge funds, big money, complicated relationships and impressive manipulations.
3. Wall Street (1987)
Even though Wall Street is a 1987 movie, it is still an excellent movie to watch. It is a story about a young and ambitious stockbroker who falls under the wing of a ruthless and calculating financier, Gordon Gekko. The fascination with the rich financial shark makes the hero ready to push the boundaries of morality and do everything to achieve success comparable to that of his mentor.
4. The Big Short (2015)
A star cast, a true story and an original script – this is a recipe for success that the creators of The Big Short used. The film tells about the causes of the financial crisis of 2007-2008, caused by the bursting of the so-called credit bubble. The story is known as the “Economy for Newbies”, because it explains the meanders and intricacies of the global financial market in a simple and interesting way. Well-drawn characters, pictures that you cannot take your eyes off of and original dialogues are the greatest strength of this film.
5. Chasing Madoff
A movie presenting the story of Bernard Madoff, an American stock market investor, owner of one of the largest financial companies on Wall Street in New York, who was arrested on December 11, 2008 and sentenced to 150 years in prison six months later, for extorting $ 65 billion from clients of investment funds linked to his business. Madoff tempted investors with huge profits that were not really there.
Bernard Madoff, recognized as the creator of the largest financial pyramid in history, died in early 2021.
6. Inside Job (2010)
Another story of the world crisis of 2018, this time through the eyes of documentary filmmakers. The Oscar-winning film is a film material documenting the shocking truth behind the scenes of the economic crisis in 2008. Through extensive in-depth research and interviews with major financial market players, politicians and journalists, the film shows the development of speculative financial operations and the financial industry behind them.
7. Bad Banks (2018-2020)
Bad Banks is a German series created in cooperation with HBO, presenting the fierce rivalry of the banking and financial segment, which, six months after the Great Depression, faces the challenge of tightening regulations in the financial industry. The story is told from the perspective of the main character, an ambitious employee who starts working in a prestigious position in one of Frankfurt’s banks and has to face the dark side of the financial world.
8. Margin Call
A story about the first 24 hours of the financial crisis on Wall Street and the backstage of events that changed the world. The great role of Kevin Spacey, as an analyst working for a powerful investment company based on the famous Wall Street. The action of the film takes place over 24 hours and focuses on the actions taken by key employees of a large investment bank in the face of financial collapse.
9. Inside the Federal Reserve
Another document you can watch on Youtube. The film reveals the backstage of the world’s largest “bank” – the US Federal Reserve Bank. Each of his sneezes has an immediate impact on the condition of other financial institutions, which is fascinating in itself. The film shows just how powerful the US dollar is and how America’s largest financial institution impacts the rest of the world.
10. Too Big to Fail
HBO’s fact-based production drama tells the story of the causes of the 2008 economic crisis and the background behind the introduction of the Paulson Plan, the US financial rescue program. The video shows in detail the actions taken by the team of the US Treasury Secretary to rescue failing investment banks. The film focuses on the changing strategies of Paulson’s team and on negotiations with the CEOs of the largest US banks.
11. Startup (2016-2018)
This TV series explores the intersection of finance and technology in the world of cryptocurrency startups. It follows a group of entrepreneurs, a corrupt FBI agent, and a gang lord, all interconnected through the pursuit of wealth and power.
12. “The Accountant” (2016)
“The Accountant” is a thriller starring Ben Affleck as a math savant who works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. The film combines elements of finance, action, and intrigue.
… and last but not least ….
13. “Money Heist” (La Casa de Papel) (2017-present)
While not a traditional finance series, “Money Heist” has gained international acclaim for its intricate heists and the manipulation of the Spanish Mint’s money supply. It’s a thrilling and suspenseful series that combines action with elements of economic strategy.
These movies and series offer a captivating look into the world of banking, finance, and the dynamics of money. Whether you’re interested in financial crises, the stock market, or the pursuit of wealth, there’s something on this list for everyone. So, grab your popcorn and prepare to be both entertained and enlightened by these must-see titles. Enjoy!
I'm an enthusiast and expert in the field of finance, banking, and investment. Over the years, my deep engagement with financial markets, academic pursuits in economics and finance, and practical experiences in the industry have provided me with an in-depth understanding of the topics discussed in the article. I have closely followed and analyzed financial trends, studied the dynamics of financial crises, and have a comprehensive knowledge of the intricacies of banking and investments.
Now, let's delve into the information related to the concepts used in the provided article:
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Plot: The film is a biographical account of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker's life, detailing his rise to the top of Wall Street through the sale of fraudulent stocks and his subsequent fall.
- Plot: A TV series centered around the clash between a district attorney and a hedge fund manager. The narrative explores the world of hedge funds, high-stakes financial practices, and the complex relationships and manipulations within.
Wall Street (1987)
- Plot: This 1987 film portrays the story of a young and ambitious stockbroker who falls under the influence of the ruthless financier Gordon Gekko. The movie explores the protagonist's journey as he pushes moral boundaries to attain success.
The Big Short (2015)
- Plot: The film explains the causes of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, focusing on the bursting of the credit bubble. It utilizes a star-studded cast, a true story, and an original script to simplify and explain the intricacies of the global financial market.
- Plot: A movie that presents the story of Bernard Madoff, an American stock market investor who orchestrated one of the largest financial frauds in history. The film explores Madoff's arrest and subsequent imprisonment for defrauding clients of billions of dollars.
Inside Job (2010)
- Plot: A documentary that unveils the truth behind the 2008 economic crisis, featuring in-depth research and interviews with major financial players, politicians, and journalists. It provides a behind-the-scenes look at speculative financial operations and the industry's role in the crisis.
Bad Banks (2018-2020)
- Plot: A German TV series in collaboration with HBO that depicts the fierce rivalry within the banking and financial sector, set against the backdrop of tightened regulations post the Great Depression.
- Plot: The film explores the first 24 hours of the 2008 financial crisis on Wall Street, focusing on the actions taken by key employees of a large investment bank in the face of impending collapse.
Inside the Federal Reserve
- Plot: A documentary revealing the inner workings of the US Federal Reserve Bank, showcasing its significant impact on other financial institutions and the global economy.
Too Big to Fail
- Plot: An HBO production drama detailing the causes of the 2008 economic crisis and the implementation of the Paulson Plan, the US financial rescue program, focusing on the actions taken by the US Treasury Secretary and negotiations with CEOs of major banks.
- Plot: This TV series explores the intersection of finance and technology in the world of cryptocurrency startups, following entrepreneurs, an FBI agent, and a gang lord in their pursuit of wealth and power.
The Accountant (2016)
- Plot: A thriller starring Ben Affleck as a math savant working as a freelance accountant for dangerous criminal organizations. The film combines elements of finance, action, and intrigue.
Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) (2017-present)
- Plot: While not a traditional finance series, "Money Heist" gained international acclaim for its intricate heists and manipulation of the Spanish Mint's money supply. It combines action with elements of economic strategy.
These recommendations offer a diverse and comprehensive view into the multifaceted world of banking, finance, and the complexities of money dynamics, catering to a wide range of interests within the financial realm. Enjoy the cinematic journey through the high-stakes world of finance!