Who is Mark Baum from The Big Short?

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Written By Ashir Ali

Fans of the 2015 film The Big Short will recognize the character of Mark Baum. But is he based on an actual person? Who is it? And what is he doing now?

Adam McKay directs The Big Short, which stars Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt.

It is based on Michael Lewis’ nonfiction book, released in 2010, that examines the 2000s real estate market, namely the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Paramount Pictures released the picture in December 2015 to great acclaim, grossing $133 million and earning the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Big Short ©Disneyplus

Steve Carrell plays Mark Baum, an investor and businessman who shorts CDOs (collateralized debt obligations). He was credited with anticipating the financial crisis, contrary to popular belief.

Is Mark Baum based on a real person?

Steve Eisman, the real-life inspiration for Mark Baum, requested that his name be altered for the film. Eisman handled more than $1 billion for FrontPoint Partners LLC, a Morgan Stanley trust fund.

FrontPoint Partners, headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, gambled against subprime mortgages during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

What is Steve Eisman’s background?

Eisman grew raised in New York City before entering the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a BA. He then attended Harvard Law School.

Mark Baum from The Big Short
Steve Eisman ©Bloomberg

Previously, he worked as a managing director and senior financial services analyst with Chilton Investment Company.

He subsequently joined Oppenheimer & Co., where he worked as a financial services analyst in the Investment Bank, Asset Management, and Specialty Finance departments.

What has Steve Eisman done since The Big Short?

Eisman quit FrontPoint Partners in 2011 to launch Emrys Partners in 2012, with $23 million in startup funding. However, the fund did not perform well, so he closed it in 2014.

He then joined Neuberger Berman as a managing director and senior portfolio manager for the Eisman Group in the private asset management business.

How accurate is Steve Carrell’s portrayal of Steve Eisman in The Big Short?

Although Steve Carrell’s character is Mark Baum, how closely does he resemble Steve Eisman in this role?

The film depicts one part of his personality: his inclination to be impolite. Eisman’s wife, Valerie Feigen (Cynthia in The Big Short, portrayed by Marisa Tomei), described her husband as “rude, obnoxious, and aggressive,” even on Wall Street.

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In The Big Short, the following interaction occurs:

Mark Baum (on the phone): Okay, I want you to step back in there and calmly, politely tell the risk assessors to fk off! Vinny Daniel (entering the room): Gentlemen, I just talked with Mark Baum, and he says ‘fk off’.

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