Sunday, April 18, 2010

Real Life vs. Show Biz Law; Obama’s Finance Reform and Prince of Swine

Q: Prince of Swine shows law as theatre. A lawyer can have the facts on their side, they can be on the right side of the law, and they can still lose if they give a bad performance or employ a bad strategy in court.

MT (writer/director): That’s correct. On the other hand, they can tell whopping lies, be on the wrong side of the law, and still win also, if they give a great performance in court, both as writers and actors, and as legal strategists.

Q: And you see the Obama Administration doing something like this now with finance reform?

MT: In a good way, they’re fighting the good fight, proposing the right law, the facts could not be any more on their side, and I like Obama’s legal strategy so far. Plus he's a very charismatic lawyer, knows how to use the spotlight. But he still might lose because the other side’s got more money than God, and can afford the best lawyers, not to mention they’ve bought both houses of Congress, and most of the key employees within the beltway in the past 30 years.

Q: Wall Street has more money than the US government?

MT: The finance sector is twice as large as the next biggest contributor to campaigns (trial lawyers, and the highest paid trial lawyers work for the finance sector). Of course, the US government is the largest financial player in the world, but Wall Street’s lawyers will be more highly paid, I can assure you. Beyond this, the Wall Street firms will use taxpayer bailout money, to fund a legal defense, to prevent Congress from changing the laws, which brought on the collapse in the first place. They’re using taxpayer money to defend and continue behavior which forced us to bail them out in the first place, just as they originally bribed Congress to change those laws which enabled the collapse in the first place. They do this through lobbying, campaign contributions, and legal defenses.

Q: What is Obama’s strategy?

MT: From what I can see he’s taking no prisoners, and God bless him. It’s not a coincidence this wave of SEC indictments has occurred hand in hand with the public unveiling of his plan for finance reform. He’s saying to Wall Street, “You want to play power games with me? You want to play hardball? Here’s your choices: reform, which is good for the country, or jail. Which do you prefer?”.

Q: You think the SEC indictments are a pretense, a stick to make them take the carrot of finance reform?

MT: God no, they haven’t even alleged half of what Wall Street does. What they’re charging is the tip of the iceberg. I can tell you what they’re alleging is the number one shape of the cons on Wall Street, so it makes me believe they’re true.

Q: What’s the shape of the con?

MT: Blind investors with science so to speak. Create investment vehicles so complicated, then pitch them with pseudoscientific, highly mathematical gibberish, which makes them seem sure things (AAA rated in this case), which, if you put it in plain language and were honest, nobody would ever go for. But when you’re pitching to the mark, you imply they’re stupid or nutless if they don’t understand. Then you show them a bunch of completely bogus numbers to virtually insure a profit, and guard yourselves legally by getting them to sign some complex agreement which they’d have to spend a lot of money to argue about in court if anything goes wrong.

Q: Sort of makes you want to put your money in a mattress.

MT: You just need to find honest people who understand the market. Is Warren Buffett worried about these indictments? Are his investors screwed? Warren Buffett is supporting Obama with everything he has, he wants an honest market, as do most investors, but Wall Street has fallen into the hands of complete scum, who are going to clutch their last dollar and drag the rest of the country down with them if they’re not reformed. Their ideology is a lie (that regulation is bad for the market) and they’re liars and crooks on top of that. They lie to their own investors, that’s what these SEC indictments are about.

Q: What about the lawyers in Prince of Swine, which sort of lawyers are they?

MT: My character, the Biggs character, and the Julie character are fighting the good fight. They’re on the right side of the law, the facts support them, their client, on the whole, is way more innocent than the opposition.

Q: Do they win?

MT: Well, you have to see the movie for that. The case in the movie is trivial, but the movie itself is meant to be a metaphor for the state of the country, and we’re definitely going through a trial for our souls and our future right now.

Prince of Swine opens at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip at Crescent Heights, Memorial Day Weekend, for a limited engagement, May 28th to June 3rd.

Get tickets for Prince of Swine online at the Laemmle Sunset 5 or the Prince of Swine website (discounts available for advance and group purchasers).

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