Margin Call

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Margin Call is a 2011 film that follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the financial crisis.

Written and directed by J.C. Chandor.
Be first. Be smarter. Or cheat.

Will Emerson[edit]

  • Jesus, Seth. Listen, if you really wanna do this with your life you have to believe you're necessary and you are. People wanna live like this with their cars and big fuckin' houses they can't even pay for, then you're necessary. The only reason they all get to continue living like kings is because we got our fingers on the scales in their favor. I take my hand off and then the whole world gets really fuckin' fair really fuckin' quickly and nobody actually wants that. They say they do but they don't. They want what we have to give them but they also wanna, you know, play innocent and pretend they have no idea where it came from. Well, that's more hypocrisy than I'm willing to swallow, so fuck 'em. Fuck normal people. You know, the funny thing is, tomorrow if all of this goes tits up they're gonna crucify us for being too reckless but if we're wrong, and everything gets back on track? Well then, the same people are gonna laugh till they piss their pants cause we're gonna all look like the biggest pussies God ever let through the door.

John Tuld[edit]

  • There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat.
  • So you think we might have put a few people out of business today. That it's all for naught. You've been doing that everyday for almost forty years Sam. And if this is all for naught then so is everything out there [points to the skyline of New York City]. It's just money; it's made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it so we don't have to kill each other just to get something to eat. It's not wrong. And it's certainly no different today than its ever been. 1637, 1797, 1819, 37, 57, 84, 1901, 07, 29, 1937, 1974, 1987 - Jesus, didn't that fucker fuck me up good - 92, 97, 2000 and whatever we want to call this. It's all just the same thing over and over; we can't help ourselves. And you and I can't control it, or stop it, or even slow it, or even ever-so-slightly alter it. We just react. And we make a lot money if we get it right. And we get left by the side of the road if we get it wrong. And there have always been and there always will be the same percentage of winners and losers, happy fuckers and sad suckers, fat cats and starving dogs in this world. Yeah, there may be more of us today than there's ever been. But the percentages-they stay exactly the same.

Peter Sullivan[edit]

  • Look at these people. Wandering around with absolutely no idea what's about to happen.

Eric Dale[edit]

  • I run Risk Management. I don't really see how that's a natural place to start cutting jobs.


Seth Bregman: Will?
Will Emerson: Yeah?
Seth Bregman: Did you really make two and half million bucks last year?
Will Emerson: Yeah... I did.
Peter Sullivan: What do you do with all that money?
Will Emerson: I don't know really. It goes pretty quick. [pause] Well, the tax man takes half of it up front. So now you got what... million and a quarter. Mortgage grabs another 300K, I gave 150 to my parents to live off, so now you got what?
Peter Sullivan: Eight hundred.
Will Emerson: I bought two cars last year for 150 total. Probably another 100 eating... 25 on clothes, put 400 away for a rainy day...
Seth Bregman: Smart.
Will Emerson: And what's that?
Peter Sullivan: 125 left.
Will Emerson: I spent 76,520 dollars on booze, dancers, and hookers.
Peter Sullivan: 76,520?
Will Emerson: Yeah, kinda shocked me, although I was able to write most of it off as an entertainment expense.

Sam Rogers: The real question is: who are we selling this to?
John Tuld: The same people we've been selling it to for the last two years, and whoever else would buy it.
Sam Rogers: But John, if you do this, you will kill the market for years. It's over.
[John nods grimly]
Sam Rogers: And you're selling something that you know has no value.
John Tuld: We are selling to willing buyers at the current fair market price.
[Sam lowers his gaze]
John Tuld: So that we may survive.
Sam Rogers: You would never sell anything to any of those people ever again.
John Tuld: I understand.
Sam Rogers: Do you?
John Tuld: Do you? [pounding on the desk] This is it! I'm telling you this is it!

Sam Rogers: You are panicking.
John Tuld: If you're first out the door, that's not called panicking.

Peter Sullivan: Are you sure it's the only or the right thing to do?
Sam Rogers: For whom?
Peter Sullivan: I'm not sure.
Sam Rogers: Neither am I.


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