Just finished watching the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and I have to say it did not leave the same impression on me like the first Wall Street movie. If you are not familiar with this, Wall Street is an iconic movie by Oliver Stone in the late 80’s which gave a precise and startling look into the inner workings of the financial market. The story revolves around a speculative investor called Gordan Gecko, who has become one of the most enduring symbols of Wall Street excess and the hold these high profile players of the financial market have on real people’s lives. It was in this movie, one of the most iconic lines about the stock market is said when, Gordan Gecko proclaims, “Greed is good”.
When I saw the first movie, it made me feel like they were the bad guys, but also I kind of envied them. They were clearly some of the smartest guys around and they knew it. They used their skills to make money instead of making something useful like medicine or technology. After that movie the line between bad people and people who are just selfish was a bit blurry. This time, Oliver Stone’s sequel to his first movie makes it very clear. These bankers have no morals or any sense of goodness to anybody but themselves. They are all selfish, except the hero of course, and they run the country down and drag the entire economy with them. Since the government is in their pocket, they come out safe and sound while everybody else is fucked. Like the first movie, Gecko delivers a great one-liner again – “The bulls make money, the bears make money and the pigs get slaughtered”.
There is little bit about how a promising technology fails to get investors while inefficient markets still attract capital. Also, there are some tid-bits about key terms and history of bubbles. Other than that the movie does not provide any kind of revealing insight or even glimpse into the psyche of these mysterious creatures called Investment Bankers. The director even side steps the back hand dealings between these bankers and the government and only makes a veiled attempt to expose the underpinnings between these two powerful entities of our society. Honestly, you can get a better view and understanding of these things by watching any of the PBS documentaries in Netflix than watching two and half hours of this useless movie.
If you want to watch something that will really give you the inside story about the financial sector watch the 2010 documentary “Inside Job” by Charles Ferguson. It is documentary film making at its best and you will learn more stuff about the CDOs and ABSs than you will want to. It provides a detailed account of the 2008 economic meltdown with startling facts and interviews and is brilliantly narrated by Matt Damon. Check it out.
If only I can be rich like these guys…
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