economics film

97% Owned

A new documentary about the democratization of the money supply. This one’s focused on the UK, and it’s great to see campaigners like Ben Dyson and nef’s Sargon Nissan get the feature doc attention their arguments deserve.

On the other hand, how many of the top ten documentary cliches can you spot in the trailer? Darnit. No doubt I shall watch it anyway, 1950s cartoon clips notwithstanding. The whole idea of who controls the money supply is desperately overlooked, and anything that gets it onto the agenda is very welcome. Besides, you can watch it for free online.

If you’ve got a minute, visit the films’ Facebook page and share the trailer.


  1. As you know, I’m very interested (though without much knowledge) to hear insightful analysis and critiques of the financial system. I was therefore very interested to see this piece and put it on my “to watch later” list.

    However, I was puzzled by one part of this trailer, which to me did not seem to bode well for the production as a whole. At 3:32 is a clip of President Bush Jnr. apparently saying “America has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality”. This struck me as so shockingly galling that I wondered why I’d never heard the quote before. A quick search revealed the quote came from this speech in 2003 when Bush announced the start of the Iraq war. But the original quote is slightly different: “In this conflict America faces an enemy that has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality.” Going back to the clip, you can see that they have cut away from Bush after he says “I want Americans and all the world to know” (which actually comes after the above quote in the real speech), and show a brief clip from the “Collateral Murder” video released by WikiLeaks, which sets up the resonance of US failure to honour the rules of engagement, and then Bush’s line “I want Americans and all the world to know” is repeated behind the clip and the start of the quote continues behind the clip “America […]” and then we come back to Bush completing the sentence “has no regard for […]”.

    I had to watch it a few times to follow what was happening, but as a piece of journalism it is shockingly irresponsible. Even if Bush’s actions made the doctored quote seem more or less true at times, the manipulation of his words in this brief section is deeply disappointing in a production that hopes to be taken seriously.

    I’m not sure I’m going to be watching it now.

    1. That section stood out for me too, mainly because I don’t see a particularly direct link between the money system and US war crimes. It looked like sensationalism. I didn’t notice the chopped up quote, which is far worse. Thanks for pointing it out. I might drop the filmmakers a line, see if they can explain themselves.

      1. I note that on the YouTube video, when one viewer says “I hope the images of war and human deprivation feature less in the final cut. Lets focus on the positive changes that can be made”, the uploader (who presumably has some connexion to the producers) says of the war graphic: “Images you see in the trailer is the entire section like this in the film…Its an academic film with a years worth of research so that makes for a dry trailer.”

    2. first off, this isn’t supposed to be journalism. second, through that doctored video, they are trying to describe his REAL VIEWS – hint hint: he and cheney did commit some of the worst war crimes against conventions including geneva, they also did many immoral things including torture. I would think this would be their answer, and that it would be obvious to anyone that he would never actually say that out in the open.

    1. I have to agree with previous comments about the Bush Jr quote. It unfortunately casts doubt on the validity/ objectivity of the rest of the documentary (which I was personally enjoying but had to pause to check this quote). I have no love for Bush but to quote Nietsche, “the most perfidious way to harm a cause is to defend it with faulty arguments”.

      Nonetheless, thank you for all the hard work you obviously put into that documentary.

  2. Just watched the full movie. Overall very good, but this misquoting of bush really struck me, so I also checked the quote and was disappointed with the result. It’s enough to stop me sharing this with most friends.

  3. Just logging in to let share that this doctored Bush quote also caught my attention and in my opinion harms the overall credibility of this documentary and others like it.

  4. I watched the first 1hr 45 min of this documentary but was also surprised and felt a bit of doubt regarding the George W. Bush quote. A quick google search led me here and to the original quote. I completely lost interest in finishing this documentary after that. What else in the documentary did they alter?!

  5. The Bush quote, to me, is obviously not real, it’s the filmmakers wryly having Bush tell the truth [a v v v rare thing indeed]. Does anyone think a US president would say that and at the same time keep up the ludicrous preaching about how the US is always the good guy, the ‘shining light on a hill’ BS? [I think of it more as a pile myself.] It’s too bad there are some who miss this and then condemn the whole film.

  6. Glad to see others caught this quote also! I paused the documentary and did a Youtube search and found the original statement by George W. Bush. I agree that it makes no sense for Bush to have made such a statement and I was surprised that such a misquote was included in what, in my opinion, was an otherwise excellent documentary film on international monetary policy and economics. Unfortunately, the Youtube video at this precise quote contains a statement that doesn’t make grammatical sense. “In this conflict, America faces an enemy has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality.”. Bush is reading a prompter displaying a prepared speech. What happened to the word ‘that’ or ‘who’ after the word ‘enemy’ in this sentence? Did the speechwriter omit it, did Bush fail to say it, or did the Youtube video fail to capture it? Of further concern is the fact that if the words ‘faces an enemy’ are removed the sentence makes grammatical sense. This is just my objective observation and I’m sure our President would never make such a statement as that portrayed in the film.

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