Team Outing – The Big Short

Posted February 26, 2016 | Merit Homes Inc Current News, General, Team Spotlight

Recently, the team here at Merit Homes took a little outing to see the movie, The Big Short.


Directed by Adam McKay and currently nominated for five Academy Awards including “Best Picture”, “The Big Short” visits some of the players involved in the housing crisis that occurred in 2008, and the events leading up to it.

Film Synopsis:

“In 2008, Wall Street guru Michael Burry realizes that a number of subprime home loans are in danger of defaulting. Burry bets against the housing market by throwing more than $1 billion of his investors’ money into credit default swaps. His actions attract the attention of banker Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), hedge-fund specialist Mark Baum (Steve Carell) and other greedy opportunists. Together, these men make a fortune by taking full advantage of the impending economic collapse in America.”


Here are a few thoughts our team had after watching the film:

From Josh Lysen, Principal at Merit Homes, “This movie brought back a lot of memories.  I’ll never forget what it was like in the summer and fall of 2008, when Lehman Brother’s bank fell, when WaMu was taken over and shut down by the FDIC and a lot of great people lost their jobs, when Banner Bank, our lender of over two decades, stopped providing construction loans and we had two years worth of land inventory in our pipeline.  I remember getting offers on our homes for sale that were 30% less than our reduced asking price.  I remember the wife of one of my subcontractors coming into my office asking if we had more work for her husband because he hadn’t worked for a month.  Those were tough days.  I’m proud of the way Merit battled through it.  We were fortunate in the end.  I wanted our team to know this story of the recent depression, especially the newer members of our team.  I thought the movie was well done and serves as a good reminder of not to take the real estate market, and what we enjoy doing for granted.

From Greg Griffis, Founding Principal at Merit Homes, “Merit’s movie excursion was a pleasant afternoon to remember.  In darken theater for an hour a half we relived the 2008 thru 2010 global crisis.   This time through the eyes the gluttonous criminals that played a corrupt financial system to the detriment of good people everywhere.  The Big Short a perfect blend of Schindler’s List and the Perfect Storm, once out of the theater the fresh air never tasted so sweet.  We did enjoy the afternoon camaraderie and the movie is worthy of viewing.  It should be noted that my astute business partner will not garner another opportunity to select a film even in the event of a sequel,  for quite some time.

From Mike Smith, Development Manager at Merit Homes, “I echo Josh’s thoughts on the housing-driven economic downturn which is still fresh in a lot of minds.  The movie was a painful and poignant reminder of how lucky we are to provide this important public need, and the importance of keeping its foundations secure.”


There you have it folks – be sure to check this film out!