Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Dark Knight

I finally got around to watching the movie The Dark Knight last night. I had read that it could be seen as political allegory, and I could see that in the movie. Like the movie Hero, it also poses interesting questions about how we select those we put on pedestals.

However, what struck me as an economist was the comic-book way in which it treated banks. The mob used the banks as a storage place for huge stacks of currency. I suspect that if the movie actually tried to show how modern finance works, it would have made the movie less understandable. Also, I wonder how many people noticed that the Joker was tremendously patriotic when he burned a huge pile of money. Since currency is indirectly debt of the U.S. government, its destruction reduced government debt. Burning money is an alternative to paying taxes, just as, for the government, printing money is an alternative to collecting taxes.

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