Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.



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"Criminal," reviewed by Victor Niederhoffer

It’s a commonplace that you can’t find a movie where a businessman isn’t portrayed as evil and grasping and callously immoral. The hit movie “Corporation” is representative of the genre, playing on people’s fears to keep them small. The same theme appears, a bit less obtrusively, in the class of movies about grifters, con men and imposters. Thus, when a reader recommended “The Criminal” as a movie about real-life deceptions that can teach us about some of the cons the market likes to engage in, we had a twofold reason to take it in.

But the market is so much deeper than the rudimentary, one-dimensional surprises in the movies. “Criminal,” based on an Argentine film called “The Nine Queens” is a Baedeker of short and long cons, building from one-person to two-person to three-person and then multi-person cons shown in all their transparent simplicity.

When the punch line of the joke is at last revealed, it makes the viewer feel that he wouldn’t be so stupid. But it is so improbable that the market mistress would laugh at the thought that the lesson could be transferred to the market.