We love allegories. The Wizard of Oz was, many believed, an allegory of the political and economic times of the 1890s. The “Yellow Brick Road” represented the gold standard, and the silver slippers the Silverite sixteen to one silver ratio (dancing down the road). Many of the characters in the movie supposedly resembled actual political personalities of the 1890s. Dorothy was the American people and the cowardly lion represented the politician William Jennings Bryan, or politicians in general. Following the road of gold lead eventually to the Emerald City, which symbolized the world of fiat paper money that only pretended to have value.
We find the following hilarious scene from the movie, Semi-Pro, an accidental allegory of the 2008/09 financial crisis. Can you identify the various stages of the crisis in the scene? 1) an initial fear of leverage; 2) greed; 3) total disregard of risk; 4) arrogance ; 5) crowd psychology and reinforcement; 5) shock after reality sets in; 6) fear; 7) denial before the storm – “subprime woes likely contained”; and 6) full blown panic?