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Margin Call - Actions of the Main Characters in the Film

Essay by   •  February 28, 2016  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,864 Words (8 Pages)  •  678 Views

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Margin Call Review

Introduction

The film is about the highlights of financial crisis between 20017 and 2008 in which it takes place in one of the largest markets in America; Wall Street Investment bank. The bank is in a financial collapse in which the employees are faced with a dilemma on how to save the bank and retain it to its status. The workers find themselves in an unethical abyss for they have to work day and to mitigate the financial crisis facing the company. The main characters in the film include Kevin Spacey as Sam Rodgers, Zachary Quinto as Peter Sulivan, Demi Moore as Sarah Robertson, Jeremy Irons as John Tuld and Paul Bettany as Will Emerson. All the main characters aim at protecting their wealth in the company in which they have to work for 36 hours to save the business (Reviews & Ratings for Margin Call 3).

Actions Of The Main Characters In The Film

Spacey is a shrewd trading boss who will settle for nothing but ensures that the trades go in the right direction, and the company earns profits. Later on, when time is not on his side, he discovered that he has a conscience which he could have implemented earlier in saving the company (Bradshaw 1). Zachary Quinto acts as a junior employee in risk management department while Will Emerson acts as a senior trader who monitors the human resource department. In the quest to accomplish more in the company, Zachary finishes a project that was started by his former colleague when he discovers the risk the company is at after calculating the risk since the company has overleveraged. Spacey is informed about the situation by Emerson hence the margin call theme.

Due to the likelihood of collapse, the senior management which comprises of the C.E.O John Tuld starts to layoff several employees since they claim that the office is not in a position to support the salaries. The senior management is comprising of Demi, Spacey, Tuld knew about the risk but did not know what to do about it. The CEO advocates that the company should sell the toxic assets before the market discovers that the company is worthless and leave them for its competitors. The customers of the enterprise can also sue the company since it owes them money that it has not paid them for their shares.  If the company takes the suggestion of the CEO, it reduces its chances of being discovered by the market and hence continue operating as usual without fear of exposure (Bernstein 6).

As the head of sales and trading, Spacey gains his conscience in which he discovers the move by the CEO will increase risk in the financial department which in turn, has a higher possibility of destroying the relationships the company has with its stakeholders hence destroying the trust that exists. The CEO offers Demi’s position to save more finances as her salary is always enormous, given that she is on the board and employees’ salary.

With his shrewdness, Spacey gives all the traders an offer of increasing their bonuses to millions should they be able to reduce their MBS assets by 93%. He points out that the trader client relationship destroys their jobs and careers since they do not work with the protocols. Ironically, Demi does not resign, and she spends her time in the office while not engaging in any positive activity to ensure the company remains prosperous while she is still being paid (Tunzelmann 9).

What Were Their Motivations?

Spacey does his work diligently in which his motivation is to ensure that the company remains prosperous. He knows that the most prosperous the business remains, higher the chances of increasing his wealth. However, he does his work out of good will as a manager who tries to do his job in the right manner. For the case of Zachary, he is just a junior employee who works very hard to ensure that his efforts are seen by the senior management such that he could earn a promotion. That is why he finishes the project given to him by Dale a counterpart who leaves office. In order to create a good image, he follows the right channel in reporting the issue to the proper management.

Tuld and Demi are motivated by greed and power in the company. Tuld lays off some of the junior employees in the company while leaving Demi, who does nothing but receives an enormous salary. Tuld aims at building a connection with the Demi such that in case the company collapses, whoever gets a job first, can be able to offer the other one. At the same time, while Demi sits in the office doing nothing and receives huge salary, the CEO gets his share because he had the powers to fire her but did not. Tuld is a very corrupt leader who does not want to let Spacey go away since he knows too much about the organization and fears he will expose it to the competitors. He then offers him an extension. Since Zachary discovers the danger the firm is in, he is offered a promotion so as to keep him quiet (Ebert 7).

 However, Dale, who is not among the main characters he is the one who gives Zachary the project he works on to see the risk the company faces. His motivation is to build a network of the connection given that he is fired. Later on, he is traced and returned to the company in a move to make him quiet since he knows a lot about the status of the enterprise. On the other hand, Emerson is motivated on saving his wealth in the company which makes him corporate with Spacey in reducing his MBS class of assets. Cohen’s move to sell all the toxic assets is motivated by protecting his image and show his worthiness in the company to protect his job. All the main characters actions in the movie are motivated by their welfare in the corporation in which they are ready to do anything to ensure that the company survives the financial crisis it faces.

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