The Ebola Economy

Director – Morgan Spurlock
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How do pandemics impact the global economy?
A sick child. A massive outbreak in Liberia. A sudden spread to Sierra Leone and Guinea, then Senegal, then Nigeria. A nurse in Spain, a healthcare worker in Texas. The recent outbreak of Ebola is devastating but it can still be traced back to one isolated tragedy.

Directed by Morgan Spurlock
Written by Jen Banbury & Adam Davidson
Executive Producers: Jeremy Chilnick & Morgan Spurlock
Associate Producer: Eric Enright
Edited by Pierre Takal
Production Manager: Stacey Kleiger
Production Secretary: Namrata Shah
Music By Extreme Music & Pierre Takal
Original Compositions by Pierre Takal
Post Production Supervisor: Adam Sonnenfeld
Assistant Editors: Luke Northrop & Kyle Bradley
Motion Design by Native to Noise
Design Directors: Nico Puertollano and Katwo Puertollano
Designers and Animators: Nowy Aratan, Ej Dalupang, Clarissa Gonzalez, Carlo Yu, Jae Il Son
Interns: Claudine Aranza, Micah Ibay, Francine Santos, Elizabeth Tan

Audio Post Production: Parabolic NY
Supervising Sound Editor: Lewis Goldstein
Sound Effects Editor: Alex Soto
Re-Recording Managers: Lewis Goldstein and Tom Ryan
HD Online by The Big Edit
Online Colorist: Brian Boyd
Stock Footage: Getty Images and Associated Press
Still Images: Getty Images
© Warrior Poets. All Rights Reserved

Morgan Spurlock

MORGAN SPURLOCK is a documentary filmmaker, television producer, screenwriter and activist best known for his documentaries “Super Size Me” (2004), “Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?” (2008), “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” (2011) and “One Direction: This Is Us” (2013). Spurlock executive produced and starred in the reality TV series, “30 Days.” As of 2013, he hosts and produces CNN's “Inside Man” and is the co-founder of the short-film content marketing studio, Cinelan.

Director's Note


“When I first began my email exchange with business & financial historian John Steele Gordon about the markets and how I’d make a film encompassing what they represent, my idea was to make a straight documentary detailing its history and speaking to some key players and influencers. He responded saying he’d always had this idea that markets first began when two cavemen, one who was better at making spears and the other who was a better hunter, exchanged goods with one another. I loved this, both visually and thematically. It was a fun and different way to dive into a complex story and to make it accessible. The fact that I got John, Adam Davidson & Annalyn Kurtz to actually be cavemen in the piece made it even better!

What I really love about this film, and the entire WE THE ECONOMY series, is how differently it deals with a topic that would normally be very dry and straightforward. My hope is that with WE THE ECONOMY, we are able to engage a wide range of people in these important topics.”


It's hard for us to imagine or understand how events halfway around the world have impact our lives, whether it be war, disasters, or even disease.  If it's not in our backyard or doesn't effect our lives on a daily basis, why should we be concerned?

That's the goal of The Ebola Economy.  I wanted to start to connect the dots for all of us so we can begin to see beyond the fear mongering that dominates the news coverage to truly put things in perspective.  

With the help of the brilliant economic writers Adam Davidson & Jen Banbury, the film shows how interconnected the global trade market and our lives truly are.  One cannot survive without the other, and when one is greatly impacted, the other suffers equally.

Now that doesn't mean you should start hoarding duct tape or clorox, but it does reinforce how we as a global population have the ability to change these situations for the better.  Hopefully, with a little knowledge, education, insight and investment, we will.


The first known Ebola outbreak occurred in what year?

  • 28% 2014
  • 20% 1998
  • 51% 1976
51% of respondents chose the correct answer: 1976.

The first Ebola outbreak occurred in Zaire in 1976. 318 cases were reported resulting in 280 deaths.

How many people did the Spanish Flu of 1918 kill?

  • 15% 1 million
  • 51% 50 million
  • 34% 15 million
51% of respondents chose the correct answer: 50 million.

Approximately 20-40% of the worldwide population became ill. Unlike earlier pandemics, the highest mortality rate was among healthy adults between 20-50 years old. The reason for this remains unknown.

Which pandemic disease has killed the most humans throughout history?

  • 31% Smallpox
  • 57% Black Death
  • 12% Measles
of respondents chose the correct answer: .

Black Death - 75 million, Measles - 200 million, Smallpox - more than 300 million

Did you know?

  • Since 1976, there have been about 30 recorded Ebola outbreaks that have infected humans

  • The economic impact of the current Ebola outbreak is estimated from as little as $3 billion to as much as $40 billion

  • Seasonal flu happens every year but pandemic flu only occurred three times during the entire 20th century.

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