I finally watched "Queen of Versailles," a documentary film directed by Lauren Greenfield. The film follows David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts, and wife Jackie (along with their children). (By the way, this is the same man that threatened massive layoffs if his employees didn't vote for Mitt Romney.) As I understand, the original intent of the film was to feature the Siegel's decision to build the largest and most expensive family home in the U.S. However, because of the financial crisis of 2008 the family is forced to put the unfinished home on the market (for $75M) because David, although originally paying cash, decided to mortgage the home to access cash to expand his business. The family has to sell other assets (e.g. airplane, cars) as well as layoff thousands of employees as their business empire was built on the real estate bubble and easily available mortgages from the banks.
This film embodies the causes of the economic crisis and our current economic condition. Once lower middle class themselves, the Siegels become billionaires from selling condo time shares to lower-middle class people. David Siegel is able to develop new properties through cheap and readily available credit and his customers are able to buy vacation shares by essentially the same process. This is depicted in one scene where a couple is convinced to buy a time share with a deposit of $2000 on their credit card without realizing the financial risks.
David Siegel's business offers his customers the opportunity to experience a life of privilege for one week a year in places like Las Vegas. The Siegels already live a life of privilege but are not satisfied and want to live like royalty, hence the building of Versailles 2.0.
We watch as the Siegels adjust to new realities and at one point, Jackie questions the fairness of the banks taking advantage of people, identifying with the 99% by asking why the bank didn't lend the money to "common people, like us" as expected after the bailout. Even David admits that the banking system is corrupt but will not go as far as to admit that the problem was deregulation and the lack of government oversight. The drive to acquire stuff, in this case real estate, blinds everyone to the fundamental problems with our economic system.