Maxed Out

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Per its title, James D. Scurlock’s virulently angry muckraking documentary Maxed Out examines the many problems associated with escalating U.S. consumer debt. Scurlock places his weightiest emphasis on the ends of the spectrum rooted in extreme evil (read: abuse) – such as the capital lenders who wheedle poor farm families into assuming unmanageable loans and college students into placing massive amounts on credit cards. He also touches on the end rooted in extreme tragedy, such as the debtors who sink so far in over their heads that suicide represents the only conceivable out. The film’s many interviewees include: Harvard University financial analyst Elizabeth Warren (who pontificates on the lucrativeness of high-interest mortgage banking) and born-again Christian radio host Dave Ramsey, who offers difficult, on-air advice to the fiscally burdened by drawing on his own experiences as a debtor.

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