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Senators to Watch ‘The Big Short’

Brown is going to watch the 'Big Short' on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Brown is going to watch the 'Big Short' on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A bipartisan group of senators is heading to the movies, hoping an Academy Award-nominated film may help shed light on the Great Recession and what lessons can be learned.  

“The Big Short,” directed by Adam McKay and based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis, examines the lead-up to the 2008 financial collapse. It has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. On Wednesday, McKay comes to Capitol Hill to participate in a panel discussion with Senate Banking ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio., and Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and will screen the movie at the Capitol Visitor Center. “The movie opens a window on the financial crisis in a compelling and understandable way. With every year that passes, the more we have to be careful not to forget the causes and consequences of the Great Recession,” Brown told HOH. “Plus, it’s not often that you can have a discussion about collateralized debt obligations without putting people to sleep.”  

Following the 6:30 p.m. panel “Lessons from the Financial Crisis,” the movie will roll in the CVC’s Room 200.  

“This is a bipartisan event. I think it is an important movie that manages to entertain while explaining complicated concepts like mortgage bonds, credit default swaps, and collateralized debt obligations.  And it reminds us how important it is to learn from the past and get public policy right,” Reed told HOH.  

The senator is a big fan of several of McKay’s previous movies, especially “Anchorman.” In 2011, the two met at the Kennedy Center when actor Will Ferrell won the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. Reed has a small bust of Ferrell’s “Anchorman” character, Ron Burgundy, on his desk.  

Contact Gangitano at and follow her on Twitter @AlexGangitano.


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