Capitalism Run Amok

One of my favorite finance/business related documentaries is Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Not only have I watched the documentary on multiple occasions – I highly recommend it – I read the book during the pursuit of my MBA, in an ethics class, which used this book as a case study on the topic. A more appropriate book for the topic probably could not have been found.

The director of that documentary, Alex Gibney, is on board as the executive producer of Dirty Money, a Netflix Original Documentary Series. The series looks at the greed, corruption and twisted practices of businesses, and businessmen which creates a few winners and lots of losers.

Over the course of six hour-long episodes, six different directors explore the cunning and corrupt culture that has given rise to some of the more infamous business scandals in recent memory. From crippling payday loans, to cars that cheat emissions tests, to the soaring price of pharmaceuticals, to shady businessmen, the directors expose shameless acts of corporate avarice and corruption.

Stig Ottesen

I’m looking forward to sitting down this weekend and binge watching all six episodes. I have no doubt the series will be illuminating, informative and to some extent, depressing.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. “I’m not just smart. I’m f%#king smart.” Love that Eron documentary. I’ve watched at least a dozen times. And Mrs. G and I started watching Dirty Money this past Saturday. The one about Valeant and the pharmaceutical industry was particularly infuriating. And all while I was watching it I kept asking two questions. Are the drugs documentary focuses on under patent? And if not, why can’t the federal government get into the pharmaceutical business? After all, if the federal government can put a man on the moon, it should be able to manufacture a drug with an expired patent. This way we don’t have to write laws to force Valeant and other pharmaceutical companies to be nice. We can work around their avarice and have a minimum impact on the free market. Let the competition begin, baby.

    P.S. Another way to let the competition begin is to allow Americans to buy their prescription drugs from overseas. I could be wrong, prescription drug prices are probably much cheaper in Europe.

    • Like you, I’ve probably watched the Enron documentary at least ten times. I caught all six episodes of the Dirty Money docu-series over the course of Friday and Saturday. While all the episodes were informative and infuriating to different degrees, I found the pharmaceutical and payday lending episodes to be the most interesting.

      Agreed regarding the idea of really opening up competition and allowing Americans to buy drugs from elsewhere. However, I believe one of the points made by the docu-series is that those in positions of power use that power to limit competition and influence policy in such ways as to secure their own position. In fact, they are not really all that interested in free, open markets and equal opportunity.

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