15 Financial Documentaries You Must Watch

The Boom & Bust Years (The Age of Risk)

A BBC documentary that provides an insight into the how the financial system, the conditions and policies that were in place helped to create the boom and bust periods that we experienced recently. The documentary particularly focuses on the boom years in the City of London’s financial district. The boom years that led up the global financial crisis are investigated. It also charts the progress of how the financial bubble during that period just kept on growing bigger and bigger.

It includes testimonies from some of the key decision makers during that period, including, Mervyn King (Bank of England governor), Gordon Brown, and the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan.

This documentary is great insight into the events that happened in the United Kingdom during the boom years that led up to the global financial crisis.

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

This documentary is a six part series by the Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson. The documentary investigates the rise of money throughout the age’s right up to the present day. The documentary looks at the influences money has played in people’s lives and how it has dictated the growth of countries around the world. It also takes an in-depth look at the excesses and imbalances of using money incorrectly and inefficiently that led to the global financial crisis. This is a fascinating documentary about the evolution of money and how it has played a major role throughout the world’s financial status. The six episodes that are in the video are:

Episode 1: Dreams of Avarice.
Episode 2: Human Bondage.
Episode 3: Blowing Bubbles.
Episode 4: Risky Business.
Episode 5: Safe as Houses.
Episode 6: Chimerica.

How Does Goldman Sachs Make its Profits?

This documentary is a two part video series on how Goldman Sachs business is so profitable. The documentary looks at both ends of the Goldman Sachs business empire. On one hand they are strong opponents to their competitors whereas on the other hand they are a hedge fund manager that offers a more neutral and supportive view. The main interesting point that comes from this documentary is that the majority of Goldman Sachs business comes from financial trading. With only a small portion coming from traditional investment banking. This is another great documentary provided on this website that highlights the inside workings of one of the major financial institutions.

How Does Goldman Sachs Make its Profits? (Part 1)

How Does Goldman Sachs Make its Profits? (Part 2)

Guest Lecture by Stephen Schwarzman

This documentary is a lecture given by Stephen Schwarzman, the Chairman of the Blackstone Group private equity firm at Yale University.

If you are a student of finance or have a particular interest in private equity then this documentary will be of special interest to you. There are not many times that you will get the chance to listen to one of the most successful and influential people in the world of finance talk about the financial industry. The documentary shares his inner thoughts and offers some very interesting insights into the world of finance.

If you are interested in more documentaries related to private equity finance then you have found the right website to be on. There is a wealth of information on this website.

Can You Afford to Retire?

Even during the best of times planning for your retirement can be a challenging proposition. There are numerous amounts of questions and issues you need to look into. Things like: “what are my benefit entitlements?” “how long will you live?” “how much savings will you need?” “how much will you need to survive throughout your retirement?” “what returns will you get on your investments?” etc etc.

The majority of people grossly underestimate the amount of money they need for their retirement, or they simply haven’t got a clue how much they will need. It is a major problem if their best laid plans fall apart around them. When a global financial crisis comes along and wipes out the savings you had invested, or the company where your money is invested goes bust then panic sets in.

This website has provided this documentary because of the retirement issue that is affecting a lot of elderly Americans. They are suffering because their savings and investments have been lost because of the financial crisis.

WealthTrack – Mark Headley

This interview with Mark Headley the Chairman of Matthews International Capital Management LLC investigates how you need to avoid the big mistakes the majority of Americans make when investing internationally. He specifically focuses on the investment strategies that are required when dealing with Asia and the developing countries and their markets. There are several key issues that need to be addressed when dealing with emerging markets if you want to benefit in both the short term and long term investment possibilities. This documentary is a great insight into the emerging Asian markets and is a great addition to the financial documentaries on this website.

The City of London – Money and Power

This BBC financial documentary presented on this website is about the City of London financial center is fascinating insight into the history of what is possibly the world’s largest financial center. The documentary looks at the establishments that make up the City (e.g. the Bank of England, Lloyds of London (insurance), and the London Stock Exchange (shares and bonds)). This is just a few of the main institutions that make up the City because the offices of over 500 banks are located in the City.

The City of London is also the largest trader of Eurobonds, the foreign exchange markets, global insurance and the energy futures markets. A new development for the City is the trading market for smaller firms, the Alternative Investment Market. All these different markets and institutions make the City of London the financial powerhouse it is today.

Warren Buffett Revealed

If you have spent some time looking through the documentaries on this website then you are no doubt interested in finance and will be fully aware of who Warren Buffett is. If you don’t know who Warren Buffett is then this documentary is fascinating viewing.

Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest people in the world. His person fortune is estimated in the tens of billions of dollars. Buffett began his interest in stocks at an early age and he now has the reputation of being a master of investing. By orchestrating the takeover of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett reached the highest level with the Stock Market. He then devoted most of his business enterprises towards insurance and as such has created a considerable amount of investable assets.

Warren Buffett is truly an incredible and inspirational person and this documentary is a brief insight into the man and his business.

How the Rich Keep Getting Richer

Has the financial crisis widened the wealth gap? The rich have been utilising their wealth to take advantage of the tax loopholes that allow them to capitalise on the rebounding asset markets. This means that their net wealth has ultimately recovered and not just back to what they had before the financial crash but a lot of rich people are better off now than before the crash.

Whereas the amount of people unemployed and possessing negative equity has increased. It appears that the luxury industry has not suffered any downturn. Take a look at this documentary and see who the rich people are, and how they successfully navigated their way through the financial crisis and come out the other side richer than they have ever been. For more information on the widening of the wealth gap check out our other financial documentaries.

LIFFE Open Outcry Trading in the 1980’s

This is a short video explaining how the old LIFFE (London International Financial Futures Exchange – now a part of NYSE Euronext) operated. The LIFFE began business at the London Royal Exchange back in 1982 to trade in currency futures and other financial derivatives. It quickly expanded its trading range to encompass commodity futures.

The documentary outlines how the market operates, who are its major players, and what the market is used for (e.g. hedging and managing the exposure to financial risk).

There is a wonderful insight into the ‘open outcry’ trading mode – trading by humans. Whereas nowadays the majority of stocks and futures trading exchanges are electronic. We have several topics about how the financial exchanges have been modified and upgraded.

25 Million Pounds – A Nick Lesson Special

This Wall Street Documentary explores the culture and outcome of one of the oldest and most prestigious merchant Banks in the World. Barings Banks was run by the same family for decades and had extensive ties the UK’s Elite and almost went bankrupt in the early 19th Century after it invested heavily in South American Bonds which unfortunately did not have a good outcome. The Bank was eventually saved but by the Bank of England, however the culture of excess remained and came to ahead in the Financial Markets during the 1990’s.

Nick Leeson caused a huge debt to the bank after claiming fictitious profits on the Singapore International Stock Market and using money sent from the UK to pay for margin payment of fictitious trades to finance huge loss making trades. The outcome of these trades, again caused the bank to run into financial trouble, however this time it was not saved by the Bank of England. Lesson whilst being interviewed from jail, made the point that he was only able to create such huge positions because his boss’s really had no idea what he was doing or how the markets really worked.

Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street

Quants are the Mathematicians and computer programmers who specialise in the application of mathematical and statistical methods solve Financial and Risk Management problems that occur on Wall Street Trading Floors. This effectively means that they are maths wizards and computer programmers who build financial products to trade using computers on Wall Street. Quants have accepted a lot of the blame for the 2007-08 Wall Street Financial Crash as its was their Financial Products that really caused the Financial Crash.

This Wall Street Documentary shows how the Quants are the Financial Geniuses that have both made and destroyed Wall Street as they have made the global financial system increasingly dependent on mathematical models that try to predict what the stock market is going to do at specific time or day. This documentary explores how Quants are pushing he boundaries of technology by designing models that can trade faster than the speed of light.

Can the Financial Global Economy really handle these complex machines and keep control of this model based financial system. This Wall Street Financial Documentary try’s to explore these theories.

Financial Documentary on the Middle East’s Alternative Financial System

Islamic Banking operates slightly different from the western world as all loans, banking or banking activity need to be consistent with the principles of sharia and Islamic economics. Throughout the banking world, this is known as “Sharia compliant finance”.

Islamic Banking or “Sharia Compliant Finance” does not allow the acceptance of interest or fees for loans of money whether the payment is fixed or flexible. Currently approximately 0.75% of the worlds total assets are the form of Sharia Compliant Loans.

This Financial Documentary explores the basic principle of Islamic Banking and how it works. The Documentary explores the basic principles and examines how Islamic banking is based on risk-sharing and profit sharing. An example could be an Islamic Mortgage transaction which works by the bank buying the item itself from the selling and re-selling it to the buyer at a profit whilst allowing the buyer to pay the bank in instalments, rather than the traditional method of lending money to the buyer and charging interest payments.

Inside Americas Money Vault Wall street documentary

Stock, Shares, Money and Commodities make the world go around and whilst we all know this, what we don’t realise is that without the world’s financial systems, the world would grind to a halt and would be very different from the world that we know now. In this Financial Documentary, Jake Ward from The Science Magazine take us inside the Wall Street Money Machine to never before seen places and into the vaults the the world largest chunks of cash that has ever been seen on National Television.

Inside America’s Money vault follows 55 Million USD’s of gold as it makes its way from the most valuable gold vault in the world underneath the streets of New York to the trading floors of the New York’s Gold District where over 24Billion USD of gold is traded every year. In this Wall Street Video, we explore how everyone from the Wall Street Trader to the local Street trader buys, holds and sells their gold, hopefully for a profit on what they have bought it for.

This is truly fantastic Wall Street Documentary showing exactly how the commodities trading market really works.

The Global Financial Meltdown (2008)

The Global Financial Meltdown is four-part Financial Documentary which explores the world of greed and reckless that very nearly brought down the whole Global Economic System. The Financial Documentary starts with the 2007-2008 crash and its causes that pushed 30 million people all over the world into unemployment, brought Global banks to insolvency and bankruptcy, and nearly brought down entire countries. The Stock Market Crash of 2008 turned back the stock market clock to 1999.

This Financial Documentary examines its causes and asks the question that everyone would like to know, can the world prepare for the next stock market crisis. The Wall Street Documentary begins with exploring how the lack of government regulation, easy housing credits and loans meaning that you did not even have to have a job to qualify for a mortgage meant that housing prices were increasing to out of control levels until the point came when traders stopped buying mortgage-backed securities and the stock market collapsed.

The Wall Street Documentary moves on to examine the fear that caused the world’s largest banks to stop lending with one another, the stock market to crash to 1999 levels and banks to the point of bankruptcy.


TheRetirementBlog.co.uk is written by David Jacobs who is on a quest to retire early and get out of the rat race. David is a financial expert who lives for early retirement. Follow his journey making money, saving and investing to retire early and get the best out of his retirement.

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