Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

The Flaw

LSE Arts public film screening

Today, a question haunts America: what exactly caused the world's greatest economy to crash and burn? And why is it so slow to recover? In THE FLAW Sundance award-winning documentary filmmaker David Sington sets out to find the answer.

Talking to some of the world's leading economists, such as the housing expert Robert Shiller, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and economic historian Louis Hyman, as well as Wall Street insiders and victims of the crash such as Ed Andrews, a former economics correspondent of the New York Times who nevertheless found himself facing foreclosure and Andrew Luan, once a bond trader, now a Wall Street tour guide, the film presents a highly original and but compelling account of the forces that almost destroyed the world economy.

Using cartoons, some truly astonishing graphs and a generous dose of black humour, the film shows how the intellectual ascendancy of an idea – that markets are wiser than individuals – led to policies that changed the way the American economy works, creating a vastly profitable financial sector that in turn drove a massive upwards redistribution of US income. This created the conditions for a housing bubble that still threatens to pauperize whole sections of the American middle class. A system that had once raised living standards for the whole population had become a game where 1% win, and 90% lose. The film argues that we won't solve our problems until we recognize that a reasonably equitable division of the spoils of capitalism is essential to its smooth functioning.

THE FLAW tells the untold story of the financial credit bubble which caused the financial crash. With testimony from bankers, borrowers, brokers and some of the best economics brains in the world, the film challenges easy assumptions about this being simply a tale of greedy bankers and poor regulation. With the imaginative use of archive, harrowing personal stories and gripping graphics, the film shows how excessive income inequality in society leads to economic instability.

The film is the definitive account of the roots, in the USA of the biggest economic crisis to hit the world since the 1930s – a crisis which is causing suffering to many millions of people. At a time when economic theory and public policy is being re-examined this film is an important intervention in that debate, with some sobering lessons for the future.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with:

Professor Francesco Caselli is the Director of Macroeconics Program in the Centre for Economic Performance and Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics here at LSE.

Philip Coggan is the Buttonwood columnist of The Economist. Previously, he worked for the Financial Times for 20 years, most recently as Investment Editor. In that post, he founded the "Short View" column and wrote the "Long View" and "Last Word" columns. In 2009, he was voted Senior Financial Journalist of the Year in the Wincott awards and best communicator in the business journalist of the year awards. Among his books are The Money Machine, a guide to the city that is still in print after 25 years and The Economist Guide to Hedge Funds.

David Sington, Director of The Flaw, has been making award-winning films for twenty years. He has filmed on every continent on the planet, from the Amazon to the Antarctic. His films have helped to free the innocent, convict the guilty and have changed government policy. He has won numerous awards, including a Grierson Award, two WildScreen Pandas, and Gold and Silver Hugos. His most recent film, In the Shadow of the Moon about the Apollo astronauts, was an Audience Award winner at the Sundance Festival and became one of the best-reviewed cinema releases of 2007, with general releases in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany and France.

Professor Robert Wade is Professor of Political Economy and Development in the Department of International Development here at LSE.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #lsetheflaw


Respondent: Professor Francesco Caselli | talks
Panellist: Philip Coggan | talks
Panellist: David Sington | talks
Professor Robert Wade | talks


Date and Time:

5 June 2011 at 6:30 pm


2 hours



Wolfson Theatre
New Academic Building
London School of Economics and Political Science

Show map

Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
See other talks organised by London School of Economics & Political Science...




Available from:

This event is free and open to all however a ticket is required. One ticket per person can be requested on Tuesday 31 May.

LSE students and staff are able to collect one ticket from the New Academic Building SU shop, located on the Kingsway side of the building from 10.00am on Tuesday 31 May.

Members of the public, LSE staff and alumni can request one ticket via the online ticket request form which will be live on the event weblisting after 10.00am on Tuesday 31 May.

The ticket request form will be online for around an hour from going live. If after an hour we have received more requests than there are tickets available, the line will be closed, and tickets will be allocated on a random basis to those requests received. If after an hour we have received fewer requests than tickets available, the ticket line will stay open until all tickets have been allocated.

Due to changes on the LSE website we can no longer control exactly when a page will update, so it may take a few minutes to appear. You may need to refresh your browser in order to view this link.

Event weblisting: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2011/20110606t1830vWT.aspx

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk.

Additional Information:

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check the listing for this event on the LSE events website on the day of the event.

For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund