Super Rich: The Greed Game

Super Rich: The Greed Game

2008, Economics  -   55 Comments
Ratings: 7.39/10 from 57 users.

Super Rich: The Greed GameAs the credit crunch bites and a global economic crisis threatens, Robert Peston reveals how the super-rich have made their fortunes, and the rest of us are picking up the bill.

Robert Peston, the BBC's Business Editor, speaks to some of the heavy hitters in hedge-fund and private equity scene. Along with the investment bankers, these are the very people who have been blamed for the current financial woe's of the world.

The film highlights the fact that these very few people have become super rich, and while the global economy is collapsing around us, they get to sail off into the sunset, with bulging pockets, to lay back, and wait for the next set of opportunities that will come along.

Which, ironically, will probably be the buying, very cheaply, of the many companies that are in trouble, due to the actions of hedge-funds, private equity firms, and investment bankers in the financial markets over recent years.

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5 years ago

I would like to know the release date of the original documentary since i need it for a school project.

Two Thumbs Down
7 years ago

This documentary only talks about how the rich became richer by investing, instead of how they (those in the financial sectors) knowingly stole money from honest hard-working people (the middle class who worked to purchase a nice home - not some grotesque and decadent 5 pool piece of crap) in order to get even richer.

9 years ago

the average joe really gets his shorts ripped off, being an employee translates as being a slave, the only way out really is from owning your own business, and take advantage of the foolish unfair system, and it s failings, humans are part of nature, and it s nature s way to eliminate the weakest, unfortunately... in this cruel world, you have to be creative, strong, and perseverant to have a good life, and ensure your children will have a chance, otherwise, you re just making another gear in a hellish crushing machine...

9 years ago

It was light per the comments below, but they did describe exactly when and why the entire cascade of s*it began (the French bank declaring that it was unable to value it's sub-prime holdings). The US media has utterly failed to mention that.

To this day (2014) I don't think most Americans really know why the whole thing started. We've been told that it was the Federal Reserve's failure to bail out Lehman Brothers... and after 2-3 years of meltdown, the US media grew some and started to mention our loss of the legal structure separating commercial banking (workers) from investment banking (hedge funds, etc.) - The Glass-Steagall Act. A**hole Bill Clinton put the final nail in that coffin in 1991 - the same year he screwed the American worker and the Mexican farmers with NAFTA.

The other thing I liked was how they described the steps that led up to the mess. The US media didn't cover it that way ever. Instead they described everything as the fault of a few dodgy lenders (Countrywide, etc.) and never discussed the culture of high finance as a whole.

The USA is f*cked. I live here in one of the major crash areas (SW FL) so I know. The people here are being fed intensely toxic food, highly subliminal tv/media programming, our air and climate are being geo-engineered just like Europe, and we have extremely high densities of cell towers - which give everyone a desperate case of brain fog. All of this is intentional and our government is doing a lot of it.

One thing I really did hate was evil George Soros. Everything that man does is to enrich himself. His charities are a sham and their only real purpose is to get into less developed countries and manipulate deals with their governments. He is buying up US agricultural land, poor country land and mineral rights, oil and gas rights, etc. He is tight with the most evil corporation - Terminator Monsanto who's stated goal is to toxify and control the world's food supply. George Soros is like Whitewash Warren Buffett. It was Buffett who called CDSS (Credit Default Swaps) "weapons of financial mass destruction" and then proceeded to purchase $62 Billion dollars worth and prevent any type of regulation of that market from ever happening...

Oh, and somehow, the estimates of the CDSS market volume since 2008 have grown from 64 Trillion to $700 Trillion. No mention of this in the US media at all. I learned it on one of these documentaries...

elizabeth wesley
10 years ago

When they are so few and the rest of us are so many, how can such damage be done. We have been blind for too long, we never recognized what was happening and now that we do it is almost too late.

11 years ago

I don't think the producer was glamorizing the super rich as much as he was showing that they are out for themselves, and they will never change, they will never care about helping the average person, if it means that they would have to give something up.

richard wood!!
11 years ago

the super rich must be destroyed, they caused all of the ills of our world. ****-em. where is hitler and stalin when we need them!!

11 years ago

Us and Them... They, those guys... as if they are Alien and not human. People are so DUMB. Money is just a measure, exactly like inches or meters. It is food, quality of life that is wealth... the people that want money are just as greedy as those with money...

If you do not understand what I mean, means you are DUMB and need to wake up.

11 years ago


You are absolutely right! The descriptive paragraph of this post describes more closely what really did happen. It is high time that America and the world at large take a deep breath of reality. The bastards that created this economic disaster and those that allowed it, opened the way for it, and did nothing about it, need to be brought to task for their crimes. Yes crimes! Just because law makers failed to put laws in place to prevent their actions does not mean that what they did and WHAT THEY ARE DOING NOW is right, moral, or ethical. If we the people continue to be lulled into a stupor by the distractive techniques of government, industry, advertisers, and the media, we are going to be sitting on the sidelines sipping our lattes, playing the lotto, as the world we think we know crashes and burns! WAKE UP AMERICA!! please.

11 years ago

This film is a light piece of fluff. It spends approximately 35 minutes ogling over private jets, yachts, exotic cars etc. It suggests that the financial crisis was a result of people not saving enough thus banks had to create new tools to obtain funds necessary for new investment opportunities. It suggests that consistent low interest rates in the US further exaberated the problem of low savings rates. It suggests that errors were made and maybe people got a little too greedy and that maybe moving forward we need to be more careful. The overall impression we get from this film is that the whole crisis is the fault of home buyers taking on too much debt. One guy suggested that the rich should not be taxed the same because they represent real talent and a country needs to attract this kind of talent - how can any fim maker tackling an issue like this let a comment like that get away without any remark?

The real problem is a lack of regulation in the banking sector. When there are no rules of governance then people cheat and commit fraud. The financial crisis of 2008 is the largest fraud ever seen by the global community and its effects continue today. This film does not come close to the real problem or even what really happened. The one film out there that explains the greed game is Inside Job - a must see film.

Carla Espino
11 years ago

This is why it's better to be on top of the food chain than the bottom. The people we voted for in congress are the same people who have been lobbied (by these companies) and bailed them out with tax payer money. They should have let these big companies fail and allowed smaller businesses to rise. It's all part of the game and we're the guppies that are used for bait.

11 years ago

re Wall St protest---re London re Dublin
TEPEE or not to tepee

People -would do better to put their tents outside their politicians houses-----literally to take it -to where they live

The ancephalous but rich and privileged 'fruit of Gekko's loins 'in their Daddy's office --on Liberty and 48th St --need to see more than this street theatre

Thousands have left Wall St-who profited from the lead of their 'Chiefs ' below-and who remain wealthy and seeking more or are now..... uncommonly wealthy -on permanant vacation near a golf course-somewhere -neither too hot-nor too cold, but just right.

The idols of the latest Apocalypse-included but not limited to the US-
include-Tim Geithner & Alan Greenspan & Hank Paulson-with that other guy (actually the worst of them)who looks like a club bouncer -but whose name escapes me-(ah-yes)one- Lawrence Summers

Their fans of this global X factor -if you will, being most of the acquisitive, aspiring; ;but least inspiring people of the western world-from DC to Dublin-to Darwin via Dubai. Alliteration has it's uses.

Simply, the 'People' -would do better to put their tents outside their politicians houses- literally to take it -to where the acquired power- lives! The banking class were patently greedy which /is in their DNA-since early last century. Little excuse to miss it.

The real blame lies with the power ;privilege and legacy chasers-who are politicians-and,( not forgetting but trying to-) the assinine but sadly effective media class---
including members of the advertising PR-and marketing 'industry'-or in an argot--sons and daughters of Beelzebub.

Rise up folk---smell the coffee they're selling you-along with everything else-and resist further corruption.

We may nver have a meritocracy-we were fooled with a democracy;the least we can do now is to exclude avoid and deny the hypocrisy of today's 'mediaoceacy'.

by Maurice Aherne

who incidently, once managed without a bowl of shamrock-to be inside the White House-and several other major institutions-thanks to the friendliness of Americans.

NB last brief comment

-God bless doctors in all their disciplines;charity/aid workers; first respondersIinc ambulance EMT /emergency crews; and those who have great responsibilities and not always a commensurate salary-ie pilots ;engineers; and people who really 'do' something.
Essentially-everyone- who are not in the grouping I cited supra

12 years ago

There appears to me a perverse aspirational undertone in this documentary, lots of stylistic shots of impressive sky scrapers and sassy jazz-lounge music add a cosmopolitan flair contra the overall message.
Also Mr. Peston, the economics guru who makes his living and status in this very industry, some interesting use of the term 'we' to categorise his own subjective definition of the exploited proletariat, of which he includes himself in some preposterous 'us-and-them' dichotomy. Interesting how this guy and an editing suite of media studies graduates apparently cannot hide their awe and admiration of such lecherous and morally bankrupt lifestyles with Peston's chummy interviews with the high flyers and the directors obsession with wanking over their narcissistic accoutrements. Such an issue requires the kind of vociferous condemnation of which the BBC is not capable and therefore should leave this alone.

12 years ago

idiots the elitists are looking down on you laughing their azzes off :0

12 years ago


12 years ago

last brief comment

-God bless doctors in all their disciplines;charity/aid workers; first respondersIinc ambulance EMT /emergency crews; and those who have great responsibilities and not always a commensurate salary-ie pilots ;engineers; and people who really 'do' something.
Essentially-everyone- who are not in the grouping I cited- infra

Liebewitz in Ireland

12 years ago

forgot the question mark?

Bankers; PR -marketeers; estate agents;some solicitors, and the media luvvies -down the line to self aggrandising 'the world would stop without us' journalists-are the devil's children.

12 years ago

A few minutes in they made an edit as P was 'bowling' into the gulley, in the mansion-ie he didn't get a strike.
Small point -but, it sets a bad tone-

Can one believe anything ...from this docu.

12 years ago

Bull! We didn't allow jack sh__ to happen. Congress, Senators, law makers in office are supposed to protect us from these money grabbers. Do y'all think that this setup was just by chance? 20% plus bonuses using other peoples money and get paid them commissions up front then after the firm goes belly up jump on the lear jet and fly straight to special order the Rolls Royce, then fly back to make sure every faucet and whatnot has solid 24 karat gold in the $5 billion dollar mansion etc. while the economy goes in shambles and up ahead the price of a loaf of bread will cost more than $50.00 while these worms and their families are eating delicacies and going on opulent vacations and on and on as we are at the mercy of our government to find a median of exchange to get the things we need because the green back won't be worth nothing. What gets me is no one is being brought to justice for this tragedy.
One thing I know for sure is that lo and behold, one fine day and believe me, it will be much sooner than you think, the pied piper will want full payment, steak, lobster, cavier and delicacies wont taste good no more, and your 24 karat faucets, your billions in assets you got tucked away wont buy you another second as you shribble up and get your birthday suit ready with your worthlesss soul and real reality sets in.......
My next door neighbor got $ 500,000 beca use some doctor messed up and missed diagnosed his real ailment. I don't know what he did in his life but he bought a brand new custom BMW which he drove for a short time then got sick. Friends brought him to the door to check out a brand new Hummer. He took one uninterested glance then asked to be placed on the sofa. A few days later I was told that as some people were walking out the front door with his entertainment systems he never said a word. The ambulence pulled up to his house for the last time and took him away.
let me tell you, those wall street thieves and money grabbers think they got it made. Just wait and see what you got tucked away in your tax free haven will buy you when it's time and soon.

Patricia Naranjo
12 years ago

I am so interested in these documentaries concerning our economy only cause I think of the time that I was taken for a ride. I was very leery about this person, and sure enough he lost our money and his own. He thought he knew what he was doing and now these rich guys are using that money for their custom made diamond water faucet. And I'm out of work and have not even a penny to my name. :(

scott campbell
12 years ago

Interesting comments below.
Wtf religion has to do with investment banking is beyond me. Some of you seem to be confusing other issues into this one.
Justice, good and evil are very different things.
Justice in law has its roots in our religious societies of the past, but in modern pluralist society in the west, the idea of justice has evolved into 'fair treatment' for all, regardless of religion, creed, and so on.
The problem this doc highlights is that a 'one-sided' relationship, favouring these super rich exists. This is a man-made problem, created by the devotion to the false idea that an un-regulated free market is the best thing for everyone. This would be true in a perfect world, but there is no single example of a free market on earth. Every government is lobbied by monopolistic companies, and every government subsidises it's uncompetitive farming / fishing / oil / logging / manufacturing / whatever industry is failing at the time.

It's an artificial situation, and if we deem it unfair to the collective whole of human society, then as a matter of 'fairness' we need to change the rules of the game. We allowed it to form in the first place.

The real question is, why is USA not regulating to prevent the same problem again. I have to wonder if Greenspan is engineering this entire thing, so that the near hyper-inflation in the USA can be averted, by messing up the global economy up enough that it won't matter.
It may not be a failure to learn from mistakes. Perhaps it wasn't a mistake at all, and continuing this system has a logic behind it. Definitely not a fair and just logic for most folk on earth.

12 years ago

I watched this when it came out on TV. In the news etc, Peston's comment that the hedge Fund/Bankers etc cant continue to earn so much and pay so little tax was gaining popularity. The Prime minister said as much in Parliament and was congratulated for having the guts to suggest a fair tax system. Several years down the line the F*****ers are still paying peanuts for taxes and each year the chancellor has stood up and boldly told us exactly how much he is increasing fuel duty, tax on alcohol, cigarettes and increasing VAT. We get taxed they get bailed out and suggestions that the good old days are over with no real plan to end the good old days.

If the powers that be are not careful they will have a revolution on their hands and the masses will have the appetite for Maoist style purges on these mega wealthy leeches and their Government puppets.

12 years ago

The British greed is really amazing their billionaires don't have it in themselves to buy a f!@#$%^ toothbrush and toothpaste.

12 years ago

@jordan down

12 years ago


Just for the record, God punishing the unjust, and religious beliefs in general, are MUCH older. And I'm getting sick of THEM.

But seriously we can't rely on a God to bring these people to justice, if they are going to be made to pay it's us, here and now, that are going to have to do it.

12 years ago

To bad the English dont use the dollar we could just print them out a extra trillion or 2 each year it works for america.

12 years ago

Look at all these poor people complaining! HAHAHA!

12 years ago

@tomregit Wow, you're so original. Do me a favour and come up with some new material, the arrogant atheist thing is really getting old.

12 years ago

@Emily. I agree wholeheartedly with what you say.
@anonimous. I don't understand why you say that Emily unfairly singles out people of faith and then, in the next paragraph, agree that religions promise a reckoning in the next life. As an atheist, I am quite doubtful it will happen, and that is the problem. Christians are even called a "flock". It's just one of many false promises of religion.
@Stephen. Good luck with that! Do you know just who's god is doing the punishing? I'm thinking Zeus...maybe Thor. ;o)

12 years ago

Not to worry, guys, God will punish these greedy tycoons for their selfish and materialistic sins one day.

Kevin Ray
12 years ago

I despise this sort of smarmy, lightweight and superficial style

12 years ago

thanks for uploading it Vlatko, impressive

12 years ago


It is exactly right that this particular type of mindset is the cause of most evils, not money, not the fighting for that money NOT even religion! When you say religious mindset, it seems to single out only people of faith. We have to remember being lazy and following like flock is a common trait of ALL humanity. Whether I be religious, agnostic, atheist I don't want to work I want the good life.

At the same time most religions do emphasize that at the end of the day people will get their share of judgement. The problem is no where in religious texts does it say to just sit on your ass and wait, that is a problem developed by the clergy and priests over many years so people like Christians would not have caused revolutions in the Dark ages of Europe.

13 years ago

@Ned and heavensbeloved: It is exactly that religious mindset of "They will get their's in the afterlife" that allows government and the financially powerful to do the things they do. One of the most helpful (to those in power) religious teachings is that harm done in this life will be punished in the next, allowing the public to ignore the injustices done to them in favor of allowing their deity to take care of it. This great "anesthetizer of the masses" encourages indifference to horrible actions against the common man and urges the "flock" to piously ignore the inequalities which greed has forced upon us. It is not "God's will" that corporate liars, thieves, cheaters and manipulators be allowed to corrupt and destroy the freedom that humanity wrenched from the powers that be over 200 hundred years ago. It is up to us, the people who labor, day after day, to keep this country alive. We have the right to freedom and equal standing in our government; however, we also have a RESPONSIBLITY as a nation to protect those freedoms and fight for the continuity of our legacy.

13 years ago

In a way, you could say that Federal Reserve controls the world.

Dale gervais
13 years ago

When are we as a people going to stand up and say enough is f--king enough.I watched docs on israel and the abomination in Gaza.Docs on the unbelieveable greed and que sera attitude of oil and gas. This attitude that we need the oil is false the only people that need the oil and gas industry are the evil corrupt owners of it, hydrogen technology has been availabe since the late 70s, probably longer.We can't develop that though no PROFIT in water.

It's time for revolution we are,in a loud voice being told to "eat cake"again, we can either DO something about it or we can look to our kids and say we were too spineless,weak,and greedy to give a shit what was left for you.

We care about us you care about you.Your response to this is most likely, thats ridiculous we love our kids,saying it is easy showing it is what counts. I'm serious where I live is not a good place for zionists or people like the bushes, clintons or slimy obamas.

13 years ago


Remember though, if I have x and you have 1000x and the value of x halves , you still have 1000 times more than me. If money had an absolute value forbes might be intsresting, but now we have those things they call shares, stockmarkets, derivatives..

13 years ago

Well, it's not true that the super-rich are increasing their wealth through the financial crisis. Have look at Forbes 2009 versus 2008. Many great fortunes got slashed severely.

However, the one-way bet story about hedge fund managers rings true. They are the highly evolved parasites who are ripping off the super-rich and the general naive public along the way. I suspect that the super-rich accept this state of affairs because with their time filled with various sorts of entertainment they don't really, at an individual level, give a damn about what happens to their colossal money.

I also suspect that a solution will not come from any bottom-up political process. It will only emerge when the super-rich get poor enough to realize they are screwed.

13 years ago

I agree with you Ned, the selfishness of these people will not go unpunished.

I like the fact that this documentry is British and does cover some angles that are of interest to us UK viewers which are not covered in American made documentries.

Great site, Keep up the good work.

Carl Hendershot
13 years ago

Not bad worth watching and very informative.

Caroline Harris
13 years ago

There is nothing particularly interesting in this documentary and it doens't really look at specific greed examples.

13 years ago

Great comment "heavensbeloved." Whether someone is a Christian, Muslim, athiest, etc., karma is real and true, and those who were selfish in life have to pay the price later.

13 years ago

The rules are not going to be rewritten. That is what the rich men of the earth wanted to break us and enslave us. There unfair scales and balances will be accounted. Could have done without the overpriced death skull shooting across the screen too often. I am glad they are enjoying the Lord's earth, because I am pretty sure that is all the good memories they will have, and even that will fade soon. Assured greed doesn't win.

13 years ago

Neat interesting video... Doesn't really cover anything that 10 other documentaries on finance already have though

13 years ago

thank you for this great site!