Boiler Room

boilerroom.jpg Boiler Room is the story of Seth Davis, a young college drop-out, who is ambitious and hard-working. He runs an underground casino out of his off-campus apartment, when he is offered a position at an ‘off Wall Street’ stock brokerage firm that assures him he will be making a million dollars even before he finishes his third year with them. Seth slowly learns that things at work are not what they seem to be, and that the firm was a financial `chop shop’ which was willing to rip off (or was targetting!) common people just looking for good investments. Seth finds himself working for a firm which is being investigated by the Feds for violation of Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. In the end, Seth makes some good decisions which helps him do the right thing.   

The movie has a great message for today’s young people, many of who are willing to do anything to make a quick buck. But what I admired most about the movie was its treatment of Seth’s relationship with his father, a honest federal judge who loves his son and wants him to do something good with his life. 

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95 responses to “Boiler Room

  1. I found Boiler Room to be very entertaining. I liked the story line and the humor of the film. I believe it illustrated the importance for investors to know exactly what the company is currently producing before investing their hard earned money. Part of Seth’s job was to promote/sell stock in a company that didn’t fully exist. He was misleading and misrepresentated the ‘company’ to several innocent investors costing some of them their life savings. These types of illegal acts will eventually be revealed and you will be severely punished if you have any relation to the act.

  2. I really enjoyed this movie. i think that you need to really research a company before you put your money into it. I also like the way the movie showed a father son relationship. I think that a lot of times people feel the pressure to succeed and will go to any length to achieve it. Also I think that this movie really helped drive home the point that you need to research a company before you start to work for them. What are their values?

  3. This movie showed me a good example as to what can happen if you become money hungry. In the beginning of the movie, Seth states that he wanted to make quick money. Money is obviously the reason most people work, however people need to be careful that they do not get in over their heads. Eventually the proper authorities will find out and then everything will come crashing down, just as the firm did in this movie. Overall it was a very interesting watch.

  4. Umutai Mamarasulova

    Boiler Room was a great movie to watch. It illustrates where young, smart, and ambitious people, driven by big and quick $$$ may end up at the end. It is something important for us to keep in mind as we are entering the real business world. The movie also shows the importance of communication between parents and kids. It was sad to see how Seth kept trying to make his father proud, while his father wanting his son to do the right things, but none of two knew each other’s intentions until the end. I enjoyed every minute of the movie and definitely would recommend it to any business student.

  5. This movie just shows how important it is to have some type of regulation. The brokerage firm was willing to steal the shirt off someones back just to make money for themselves. Its sad but things like this happen all the time. Organizations like the SEC, although make it difficult with the countless regulations, are a necessary part in the world. This movie was a good way to show how easily someone with good motives can get caught up in something so bad.

  6. Craig Thommes

    This movie did a good job of showing how there needs to be some sort of governmental regulation in the business world. The firm in this movie is selling stock of made up companies. Also, as a buyer of stock you need to take everything you here with a grain of salt. It was his (man who’s wife left him) own fault for not looking into the situation and maybe asking other firms if they have ever heard of the company. Although the government is trying to regulate all companies, it will take a little bit of knowledge on the buyer’s side also.
    Also this movie showed how even when you are the person doing the illegal activity, you affect everyone that is around you. This includes family, spouses, co-workers, and friends.

  7. Rachelle Jershin

    The first thing I thought of when I watched this movie again was if something seems too good to be true it probably is. It shows how easy it is to invest in something and lose close to everything you have. People will take advantage of others to make a quick buck and the people have no idea. It also shows how wrond doings can affect third parties who were not even aware of the individual situation. Everyone wants money and all of the things associated with it. The difference is the things people are willing to do to get there.

  8. Scott Stronck

    Boiler Room is a story of how deceptive some new jobs can be. It is important to do some background checks into an organization before accepting a position. I know for myself, I was looking online at some positions, but once I read further into them you see they are not truly what you thought they were going to be. It is important to note that he made some good decisions in the end of the movie.

  9. Richard Caniglia

    I agree with the majority of peoples quotes that Boiler Room teaches a good lesson of doing your research in the job you are applying for. I went on some interviews after I got my first degree for some big name companies that were mainly blowing smoke. Upon arriving at the interview and hearing a little speech about the job it resembled in no way the description of what I thought it was. Seth did the right thing in the movie and helped put an end to this financial `chop shop’ before it ruined any more peoples lives.

    It shows why we as students need to take an business ethics class before being released into the job market. For some it may not help, but others may take what they learn and practice it. I hadn’t watched this movie in a long time, but see why it would be on this list because it demonstrates a lot of concepts I have learned thus far in my pursuit of a fiance degree.

  10. The movie did a good job of showing people that just because something is wrong that doesn’t mean it is going to be easy to tell. Like Seth said in the movie what if… he hadn’t gone back in to the office to get his bag, or what if he hadn’t seen the boss walking into the office next door. Had those things not happended he wouldn’t have known that what he was doing was wrong. It is very important to have a good idea about what you are doing. Don’t allways take someone elses word for it. Do your own research and if your a salesman you have an obligation to know what you are selling.

  11. This movie does a great job of showing how investors need to research and gain some knowledge about a company that they are investing in. If you don’t fully understand what products your company sells and how they operate you are really making poor investment decisions. Seth found himself selling a company’s product that really doesn’t even exist. Even after he finds out about the scam he still continues to promote it and ends up affecting many people’s lives. The biggest thing I got out of Boiler Room is don’t always take other peoples words, especially if its your own money at stake.

  12. The movie boiler room showed that how hunger of money change the thinking of people not for the traders but also who is investing in. people can do whatever they can do for the good return. In the movie they showed that how easily someone with good motives and goals can get caught up in something so bad. The movie demonstrates that how People use others and take advantage of them to make a big and instant money. In my opinion it is important for investors to know the company’s current position and if they still existing before investing their hard earned money. The main character Seth’s job was to promote the stock of the company’s which did not fully exist. In the movie they showed that humanity still alive in those people not all but some. They realize that how people feel when they lose their savings. Overall the movie is has done good job showing another side of stock businesses.

  13. This movie showed how some the greed of many can cause people to behave unethically. First, it showed how some people will find any means to make money. This non-existent company was taking the money of innocent investors and ruining their lives. Seth was able to uncover the secret behind the whole operation and did the moral thing in the end and was able to help out an investor that he had taken advantage of previously

    Secondly, Seth knew the company was behaving unethically, but it was difficult for him to figure out what he should do about it. In the end, the FBI figured had enough information to go ahead and raid the company, and convict all of those involved in the scam. Goes to show you that no crime goes unpunished.

  14. Jillian Bierce

    I thought that the Boiler Room was a very interesting movie. It was easy to watch and it kept my attention. The movie was a good demonstration on what goes on in the stock business world. It makes you want to know some information about your company before you work for them. Seth’s job was to try and make people invest in products their company was selling. He later found out that the products didn’t exist and he was scamming people out of their money. Overall, the Boiler Room is a good movie to watch and you learn a lot from.

  15. Molly Mickeliunas

    Boiler room was an interesting movie. It was serious in the aspect of the father son relationship but had a lot of humor behind it. This movie definately showed how some businesses are just out to make money. It is good to know who you are working for especially when it comes to selling. It was kind of funny that Seth didn’t understand that he was scamming people at first because he was kind of being scammed himself. It is important to research an unfamiliar business before you work for them. It shows that being unethical gets you no where.

  16. Boiler Room was a great way to portray investment scams to investors. As a finance major, it made me think about how much pressure brokers are under to satisfy their clients and how much money can influence the things people do. It showed this with Seth doing what he needed to do to get paid and it showed it with Harry using all his family’s savings to invest in soemthing that he thought would get him more money. Overall, I thought it was a good movie because it had humor and drama. I didn’t like that it ends so suddenly. I would have liked to see a little more into what happened to the people working for the company.

  17. I liked the movie Boiler Room. It had a lot of very informative information in it. Like when he said Microsoft employs more millionaire secretaries than any other company in the world because they took stock options instead of Christmas bonuses, smart move. No one wants to work for their money anymore; they just want to find the easy way to make it fast. I thought it was funny when he said he is going to do the white boy way of slinging crack rock, he was going to become a stock broker. Even though the business was illegal, Seth was very good at running the casino and it was smart. There was a high demand for college kids to do something between classes, and Seth provided it for them and made a lot of money doing it. I don’t think I could ever live off of $150 a week, but to make one million within the first three years is crazy. Those guys had so much money, but they had no clue with what to do with it. Ben Affleck’s character had a huge house with barely anything in it. They were all sitting on the floor like it was normal. This movie was crazy with how everything laid out, but I didn’t like how it ended. I wanted to know what happened to everyone later.

  18. Nicole Dwornicki

    I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was kind of strange in the beginning, when they were only looking for young men that were looking to become millionaires. Ben Affleck promised all the young boys that they would be millionaires within three years, and they were all willing to do whatever it took to make money. Even after the main character Seth Davis found out that the investment firm was a “chop shop” that was ripping people off, he still convinced a man named Harry to invest all of his saving (which was suppose to go towards buying a new house) into a fake pharmaceutical drug. I was happy that Seth did eventually decided to get out the business, and was still able to get Harry his money back. It is amazing that there are people out there that don’t care whose life the ruin as long as they are making money.

  19. Lindsay Cordle

    This movie demonstrated pure dishonesty on the part of JT Marlin, but Seth Davis made some honest decisions in the end. After feeling guilty about working for the firm and stealing money from average people and destroying their lives, Seth learned a lesson. Although the film was fictional, it is still scary to see the workers lie and con innocent people into buying artificial stock. It shows that some people are willing to do anything to make money and will even set their morals, values, and legal statutes aside. After watching this movie, I know I will use my best judgment when talking with salespeople or while making significant purchase decisions.

  20. I found this movie very interesting, Seth wasvery business savy guy running a casino out of his house. He decided to get out of that because he thought it was to risky and he was going to get caught. So Seth decided to go try to sell stock which he thought was a noble and ethical job. This movie shows that you really have to do your homework if you are going to put money into the stock market. It was interesting to see all of these brokers making so much money and they had no idea about saving money, these people are stock brokers they are spose to know about how money works and instead they are living in big houses with no furniture or still living with there parents. This movie really showed be what it means to be greedy.

  21. This was a great movie both for business and pleasure. Its scary to think that there might actually be companies out there that are capable of this and that the government takes so long to uncover them. I think this movie sums up our generation…it seems as if everyone is trying these get-rich-quick schemes and they never seem to work. No one wants to work the 9 to 5 anymore. Maybe its because we see all these athletes and movie stars on TV in there multi-million dollar homes and their 5 cars and were just so spoiled that we think we need our lives to be the exact same. I admit, I don’t want to be like my parents and spend my entire life working and waiting for retirement, especially at a job that is less than satisfying. I just think that our generation needs to chill out on the instant gratification bit and try making money the honest way instead of waiting for their lotto numbers to be drawn.

  22. Tineisha Whitehead

    Boiler room was very interesting watch. It just how far people are willing to go just to get the money that they want. The company JT Marlin seemed like a very prestigious and promising organizaiton in the beginning but we soon realized that that was not the case. Knowing that Seth was able to realize there wrong, he still couldn’t quit because the money was just too good.

  23. love this movie! the lack of morals through the entire movie is amazing, but then at the end you have the one guy sign the sell ticket so the man with the family can get his money back before the police come in. Seth started out as a good business man, the company created this guy who didnt care about people, in the end it was nice to see that he had turned around, would recomend this movie to anyone!

  24. This movie is one of my favorite movies. All these guys in this movie are trying to make as much money as possible. They have all these nice cars and houses but in the movie it says that they can’t afford the gas to put in the cars. It also shows a good lesson to investigate yourself the companies you want to invest in and don’t place full trust into your broker.

  25. Dan Sundermeier

    I was very surprised after watching boiler room. I was surprised that I had never seen it before! Aside from the amazing sound track, this movie made us question business ethics v. legality. I had some trouble following even how the scheme worked. From my understanding it could have been legal had the owner not been in cahoots with the companies putting up the stock. Were the junior brokers and broker trainees acting ethically? Morally? That would be determined by their intelligence of what they were doing. By the time they had passed their tests, they would know that the S.E.C. regulates the amount of rips that they get for each sale. They would know at least that they are acting illegally here.
    I think the movie made a great impact to this class as the only company employees were ambitious twenty something’s. I loved Ben Affleck’s role in the movie. The company acted somewhere between a Nazi regime and a college fraternity during rush week. The company was very selective in who they would recruit. They kicked out the guy that already had passed his test because he would not be easily molded. The people they wanted to hire were impressionable youth. They could be molded into whatever the company wanted them to be. Once they were molded they were beaten for digging too deep and positively reinforced to act the way they wanted. Overall I would recommend this movie to any business student. While still providing some entertainment value, it does show some of the illegal business activities that are commonly found today.

  26. Boiler Room was a very informative movie. They were investing in companies that the broker made up and took to much commision and made much more money that they should have. As a finance major I learned that this operation was against SEC filings. All around I really enjoyed the movie. It shows how hard it is to be a broker and satisfy clients needs. This is a good example of making sure to research in unfamiliar companies before investing and giving so much freedom and responsibility to a broker.

  27. Boiler Room was a very good movie. It showed how ethics did not exist within this broker firm. They chose to steal from everyday people by creating non-existent stocks. There were manu brokers working for this “chop shop” firm, and Seth was the only broker that seemed guilty by trying to get rich off of average people. I believe there are probably many businesses that exist that lack business morals and ethics. This broker firm is just an example of how cautious people need to be when doing business with businesses and corporations of today. What may seem legit and a good deal can be disastrous in the end. Overall, I enjoyed the movie and I am glad it was chosen for our assignment.

  28. This was a very interesting movie with a lot of famous actors. Seth starts out by running an illegal gambling operation and then gets a job dealing in the stock market. At J.T. Marlon, the brokerage company, people are just trying to make as much money as possible with out any regard for ethics or moral conduct. Seth begins to feel like he has an obligation to not rip people off and even says that his illegal gambling operation was the most honest thing he has done. Luckily, Seth ends up being a good guy.

  29. I really enjoyed the movie. nAll around it was very interesting, I wish that they would have put a little more detail into the ending. I wanted to see how much trouble they got into for running that business. I think that people are stupid for putting their finances in danger by giving someone who calls you the ability to change your life. If it is such a good idea why would they be telling you about it and not buying in themselves. You need to really research a company before you put your money into it, people who don’t do the research deserve to lose their money.

  30. This movie was a very dramatic lesson that everyone needs to learn. I can not believe that someone would fall into such a firm without researching who they are and thier credentials first. Seth was trying to better himself and ended up in a worse situation because he was desperate. People really have to watch out and do thier homework. I found the movie very interesting and enjoyable.

  31. I loved this movie. This has been one of my favorites since it came out. I think this movie shows us many thing about business and people. Some business are after profits at any cost, even when they know they’re breaking the laws. The movie also shows us that some people get blinded by promises of fast, easy money and they lose sight of reality. The victims didn’t do any research on the companies or the brokerage, but would trust these guys with their money. I believe this exposes a bad side of the industry that all the rules and regulations try to prevent. From my understanding, this practice was more prevalent in the 80’s than today. One last point about the movie. Aside from the legality of what was being done, I think some of the scenes are a great way to show how to sell. Not the pressure thats put on the clients, but some of the things told to the brokers, such as abc, always be closing.

  32. Watching this movie takes me back to middle school. How Seth had his own casino, I had my own little betting pool that I ran. You make some good money doing that. You should always know what your getting yourself into.

  33. Jeremy Windeshausen

    Wow, this movie was great. I think I may have rented this movie a long time ago but I cant remember. I love the storyline, although I need more to the ending. This movie shows us how far some people are willing to go to make money.

  34. I saw this movie several years ago and always thought it was great. There are several aspects of business that are evident in it including ethics, selling, and even being an entrepreneur when Seth started and ran his own casino. Its crazy to think that people would actually take advantage of others like this out of pure greed. I loved Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel in this movie!

  35. I really love this movie. This movie is kind of like A Chicago Mob meets Wall Street. Great ensemble of a cast. No one in the movie will be winning any Oscars, but they play they parts and fit into their characters nicely. I love this film also, because it has some very memorable quotes. ABC-Always Be Closing. A good quote to remember if you are working in a sales position.

  36. Didn’t know Vin Deisel was in this movie, but that just made me laugh. Great fun movie about pulling one over on unsuspecting customers. Poor kid should have walked, no RAN, away when he found out what was going on that company. Sad that some people are so greedy for their own personal reasons that they would continue doing something wrong knowing it was a horrible thing to do. It shows why ethics is pushed hard in the financial industry. It has to be. Or everyone would be acting this way.

  37. When I watched the movie Boiler Room, I was reminded of the concept of ethical conflict of interest from my Management class. This concept explains how employees sometimes face a challenging situation in the workplace when something performed on a daily basis does not agree with their internal values or morals.
    The concept of conflict of interest was demonstrated in the movie when the main junior stock broker started to ask questions and get suspicious as to how his boss made so much more money than other broker firms in the local area. He knew something wasn’t right and decided to delve into the business practices a little bit more. He finally goes next door where further business is to be conducted, and finds and empty warehouse full of telephones. This is when his suspicions are confirmed-there really isn’t another aspect of the business and it’s all just a ploy. The unfortunate aspect of the situation was that he tried so hard to impress his dad by working into a legitimate business when all he was doing was getting involved with another scam company.
    I think this movie is an excellent demonstration of the trap some young people fall into. Many young adults want to make as much money in the most effortless way possible, and will take victim to companies that offer something too good to be true. There are many companies out there that try to offer the hopes and promises of a better life in a flash without doing so in an ethical manner. The world needs more people, especially young adults, to ask questions of the company’s practices and ways of conducting business to heed the practice of unethical behavior.

  38. I loved this movie. Just thinking that there are really people out there that would buy stock and spend outrageous amount of money on companies when they know nothing about. I just found it hilarious. Also, i was disappointed in Seth dropping the casino, he had a great thing going there.

  39. Sorry, I totally forgot to post a blog to this movie.

    For me, this movie was very entertaining. It was my first time watching it and I personally it puts a really bad image on corporations. The movie kind of shows that corporations are sometimes very profit conscious, sometimes that involves doing whatever possible to get what the firm wants. This whole concept of fraud totally jumped out at me, that was the first thing that I noticed about this movie. From the beginning of the movie till the end, illegal operations was pretty much what was being portrayed. I think it’s a very informative movie, brings people’s awareness of some of the things that could possibly be going on in the business world.

  40. The movie was great. It shows just how far people will go to please their parents. A lesson learned: be yourself sometimes even if it is against what your parents think. One has to do what is best for him or her.

  41. Trevor Luchsinger

    I really liked watching this movie. It showed how a company has a so called challenging situation in the workplace and have to deal with it. Young people get out in the workplace and need to understand what they are doing before they get involved to deep. When they dont know what they are getting into they are suceptable to scams and other things that they dont know much about.

  42. This movie was overall very funny it depicted the everyday madness that employees that work in cubicles have to deal with. The movie portrays how poor management can affect the actions of its personal and push it to extreme cases. Throughout many companies their is fraud and unethical practices taking place. People feel as if they are’nt viewed as human beings and more as just numbers in the equation. When people are treated in this manner it can make them crack and thus have bad consequences. Overall this movie was very good and shows the negative aspects of working at a desk every day.

  43. This movie showed just how far people will go to make a profit. It shows how corporate America takes advantage of the general public by nit-picking at their ignorance in the business industry. Taking advantage of their customers is a common practice in America and should not be tolerated. But is’nt this what America was built on through the implemtation of capitalism.

  44. This movie is definitely a prime example of why ethics and regulations are needed in the investment world. Throughout many of my prior classes I was tought “be ethical”, but human instinct is to take the path of least resistance. It so happens that the main character was caught up in a conflict between the two.

    The movie really reminded me to research the companies that I invest in and even to validate the motives of future companies I may work for.

  45. Megan Weatherwax

    I thought this movie was entertainning and it kept my attention. my favorite things was the casino Seth was running out of his house, I was sad to see that go. When referring to ethics I agree with Ross. This is something everyone needs to think about especially when investing money. How could anyone invest in anything on the word of a stranger! These people didn’t even know anything about the company. Amazing. Seth was stuck between a hard spot and a rock…there was so much he wanted to prove yet he knew staying with the company was wrong. And all the other investors were too greedy to question the wrong doings of the company…kind of sad.

  46. Boiler Room is a great movie. The first time I saw it I didn’t put too much thought into the business aspect of the movie. It is a very important movie for any business person to watch. It shows the problems with ethics as well as the needed restrictions and regulations placed on investment firms. JP Marlin would sell IPO’s for made up companies. Pretty unethical.

  47. Jun (Kurt) Guo

    There isn’t much I want to say about this movie except the two paragraphs below about greed I found from Wikipedia. I am far from perfect, but I don’t have a problem improving myself. Because I know right from wrong. It’s easier said than done, hopefully, my fellow classmates will all be strong enough to fight down the evil part of us. After all, the evils we bring on ourselves are the hardest to bear.
    “Greed versus happiness
    Buddhists believe greed is based on incorrectly connecting material wealth with happiness. This is caused by a view that exaggerates the positive aspects of an object; that is, acquiring material objects has less impact than we imagine on our feelings of happiness. This view has been correlated by studies in the field of happiness economics, which confirm that beyond the provision of a basic level of material comfort, more wealth does not create greater happiness.
    Greed and idolatry
    Greed is a form of idolatry, according to the Bible (Colossians 3:5). While some have had difficulty understanding this connection, the most common explanation is that the greedy person values money or possessions more than God. Another understanding is that greed serves to bring as many things that the greedy person considers valuables to that person, making him the center of his efforts, the one he aims to please, converting him into his own god, and creating pride with great concentration on the ego.”

  48. This is a great movie for me to watch because I am finance-concentrated, and it is very likely that I will work as a broker myself someday. Learning from history and other people’s mistakes makes us better and more ethical. I was shocked by what people would do for the power and money that they don’t even need, and how they could finally destroy themselves because of their pursuit of power and wealth. This movie reminds me of an old saying: “you need money to live, but you don’t live for money.” The movie is a great example of what too much money and power can do to a person when s/he doesn’t know what life is truly about. And it really made me wonder why we are here and why we are doing everything we are doing. Is it any way to change everything?

  49. The move, Boiler Room, is a good material for training employees of telemarketing companies. It covers lots of techniques of sales tactics and makes up to lots of different conditions to manipulate people’s greed. That’s a reason why J. T Marlin can make a great fortune by telemarketing fraud. Sometimes individual investors do not equip financial knowledge and do not realize how capital markets works. In this way, they might have wrong expectation to the market or single company. Seth Davies, the main character in Boiler Room, uses these native investors to generate profits. The only way to prevent this circumstance is to enhance the knowledge of financial market. If you want to invest in any market, make sure you understand the big picture of this market. If you want to invest in a particular firm, at least you should realize the firm exists or not, how the firm operates and how it generates profit. Following rumors to invest is a dangerous and risky way. Also, Seth encountered an ethical dilemma in the movie. When he found J. T Marlin was dishonest, should he report to relate department or maintain the situation. He knew that most people in his company choose to maintain the current condition because everyone in this pool had a great salary and luxury living. It needs enormous courage to reveal the truth. Seth was very close to do this, however; FBI was one step faster than he. Although the result for Seth was good, we need to take everything he dealt with seriously.

  50. Shailendu Shroff

    Here we seen the story of a boy torn between what he can work as and what he is seen to be working as. Seth Davis can efficiently run the casino and make money; however, his father does not see it as a legitimate occupation. In order to please him, Seth becomes a stock broker in J. T. Marlin, an investment firm. He demonstrates his skills as an ambitious and out to win salesperson. His calling always gets him to close deals. His abnormal earnings and money seem to make him think if something is amiss at the firm. Seth soon realizes that the firm is not doing legitimate business or sale of stock; it is merely selling someone’s stock and creating an artificial demand when it wants investors and then removes the pressure thereby the prices plummet and investors lose. The brokers at J. T. Marlin are given good commissions so that their dubious act is not delved into. Seth uncovers many weak links which are nothing but his bosses plans to escape if the Fed gets close to them and suspects their activities. In the end Seth realizes that his actions have devastated many people’s hard earned money and goes about doing what is right morally – testifying against J. T. Marlin. We can also see the humanity and compassion that Seth demonstrates when he tries to allot some stock to Lenard as compensation for the $ 50,000 that he has squandered away. He also does call upon his judge dad to bail him out in the process when he is arrested by the FBI; but also ensures that his father’s reputation is not stained or injured (by newspaper reports) and then takes supreme responsibility for his actions upon himself.

    I learnt many aspects of business which include ambition and the drive to success needs to come from within a person. Be it whatever area of business, a person can definitely generate revenue even when he is on unknown ground. However, in doing so are there any ethics that one must keep in mind? Do we have the right to play with someone’s money and inadvertently break someone’s trust? The movie gives a beginning into the world of investments where such practices are not unknown. Stock trading happens at many a investor firm and often is not genuine. Small time brokers who are out to make a quick buck are always looking for gullible people. They surely squander away people’s hard earned money (and make their commissions & escape). But coupled with this is the question that we need to ask ourselves: we are supremely responsible for the decision we make; so then why should we succumb to pressure and greed to make more money than we think we can? Why should we risk our present for the future when we are in a dilemma? Should we be accepting proposals that might be made by someone like Seth Davis merely on the premonition that the world is growing richer and we might be left behind in the money race?

  51. Ryan Seymour

    Boiler Room centers around Seth Davis, a college dropout turned stockbroker, and the illegal business practices of his firm J.T. Marlin. The film takes a closer look at the darker side of finance and how easily average investors can be taken advantage of by smooth talking stockbrokers. J.T. Marlin is referred to as a “chop shop brokerage firm”. That is, it uses its brokers to create artificial demand in the stock of defunct companies by cold calling investors (i.e., random calls to potential leads) and selling them shares at prices set by the brokerage firm, which include a large commission to the brokers (up to three dollars a share for a penny stock). When the firm is done pumping the stock, the investors then have no one to sell their shares to in the market, and the price of the stock plummets. Around the same time Seth learns of J.T. Marlin’s illegal business practices, he is confronted by an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) financial crime division who essentially tells Seth that he will be put in prison unless he helps the agency build a case against the firm for its fraudulent activities. The film ends with the FBI raiding J.T. Marlin’s offices and Seth walking away needed another job.

    Business ethics is a major theme in Boiler Room. Because stockbrokers are licensed business professionals they are held to a high standard and are responsible for protecting the interests of their clients (i.e., investors). Sometimes, however, stockbrokers put their interests ahead of their clients’ interests. Because of the complex nature of the financial markets, authorities can sometimes have difficulty detecting all types of financial crimes in them. As a result, the punishment for committing financial crimes such as those shown in the film is very severe.

  52. Zeta (Jiaxi Chen)

    When I’m watching at this movie, it reminds me my summer internship experience in a financial consulting company. My job responsibility is very similar to what Seth does in J.T. Marlin. I made cold calls every day to sell the potential customers our financial service products. It takes me some time to get the point of how to make a successful sale call to close the deal with my customers. But today, when I finished watching this movie and looked back to my summer internship experience, I feel what I did and learned during the summer was not that fruitful as I thought before. I adore the training mean that J.T Marlin used to their new brokers; even this is a less-than-reputable brokerage firm. There are several scenes that stun me a lot and I’m going to tell my thoughts below.
    1. Group Interview: it’s really the most awesome interview I have ever seen until now. It’s not the regular serious interview, but more like a training class to inspire all new employees what you have to do for this company and what you can get from this company. Especially now I’m also finding a job and I need someone or something to make me more ambitious and persistent on this thing I’m dreaming to get. Here are the lines in the movie that invigorate me a lot: Anybody who says money isn’t everything doesn’t have any. You become an employee at this firm; you will make your first million within three years. I’m going to repeat that– you will make a million dollars within three years. They say money can’t buy happiness? Look at the smile on my face… ear to ear, baby! You have to be closing all the time! Be aggressive!
    2. First Sale/Wife objection passed/telemarketing scene: all of these scenes all telling me how to make a brilliant phone sale. I really appreciate that because it makes me feel that I used to be a sucked sale call maker in the last summer. I have a lot of things to learn to improve my sale call skills. And I also have to say that the sale technique is going to take a really long time to get the point. Some people might never get the point in their life. How to reply you customers’ questions very smartly by phone; how to intrigue your customers to your service products; how to close the deal with your customers before they close deal with you by saying I don’t have money for that. Business is business. Whenever you get the point, I believe your time to be successful in business career will come soon…
    Nevertheless, there is another important thing that we should pay attention—Business Ethics. In this movie, as Seth goes deeper into the operation at J.T. Marlin than he’d like, learning how the firm scams its clients. The company is a chop shop brokerage firm that runs a “pump and dump”, using its brokers to create artificial demand in the stock of defunct companies by cold calling investors and selling them shares at prices set by the brokerage firm. When the firm is done pumping the stock, then no one sells investors’ shares in the market, and the price of the stock plummets. As Seth learns more about the firm, he realizes he needs to get out. When the FBI confronts him, he agrees to help them bring down the firm. Although he feels bad about the many affluent investors that he lied to and scammed, he only tries to help one client who could not afford to be scammed in the first place.
    It shows why we as students need to take a business ethics class before being released into the job market. For some it may not help, but others may take what they learn and practice it. I learn a lot from Seth at the end of this movie, whenever you get involved in an unethical or even illegal business operation, you should open your eyes wide and get out of this company as soon as possible. In a word, I like this movie; there are so many things I can learn from this movie, and it will be helpful in my life.

  53. It’s a great movie from which MBAs can observe and learn. Seth Davis, who was a stock broker of J. T. Marlon, was trying to persuade people to buy stock of companies that do not exist or was going to public. This related to the term called bridge financing, which is employed by companies, before initial public offering, to acquire necessary money for maintaining their operation. Mike, the founder of J. T. Marlon, was offering four times or more of commission, usually 30% or 40% of the amount of selling money, than major firms in Wall Street to attract investors by uncommon earnings. This movie can provide great opportunity to be familiar with the idea of process of stock trading and with the responsibilities of stock brokers.

  54. Carol Luong (MGMT 540)

    This movie further proves my point that ethics cannot be taught; the School of Management is wasting their time and efforts by trying to include ethics in every single class. Morals and judgment of what is good or bad is already instilled in a person by the time he/she enters college due to upbringing and past influences.

    Seth Davis clearly knew that he was taking advantage of his clients, but the acceptance by his father for having a “respectable” job was worth it to him. It wasn’t until that his father lost respect for him that Seth decided to leave JT Marlin. Like Seth, many people are fully aware that they are doing something wrong and could get caught, but they continue to do it because they feel that the benefits outweigh the consequences. So a class won’t change their internal and deepest desires.

    To support my point even further, Seth’s father is a judge, but still eventually decided to help Seth engage in unethical behavior because he loved Seth that much. We can all assume that Seth’s father is highly educated on law and ethics, but it didn’t prevent him from satisfying his deeper needs of showing his love to Seth.

    What this movie does show is that once people feel like they will get caught, they begin to act more ethically. Perhaps, if SOM still insists on drilling ethics into their students’ head it should emphasize consequences more and convince students that they will get caught.

  55. “Boiler Room” is a movie that goes through the business of a firm known as “J.T. Marlin” through the eyes of Seth, the main character. He goes from a student to a dropout who runs a well-organized casino in his apartment until one day he is recruited to join J.T. Marlin, an investment firm based out of Long Island. This firm offers an immense opportunity for him to change his life while making an immense amount of money and winning back the appreciation of his father. However, he quickly learns that the immense earnings are an illusion created from illegal business practices.
    This movie shows many things about the ins and outs of dealing with financial markets. While, J.T. Marlin is a special case with its’ illegal activities all brokerage firms are trying to sell their clients on investing with them for their own benefit in any way possible. The main point that this film portrays is that sometimes the desire for money will cause people to make unethical decisions. This also shows the inner turmoil that can be created within people when their morals clash with their desire to earn large sums of money.

  56. Tzu-Chuan Chiu(Anson)

    To me, the most impressive part of this movie was the sales talk. The recruiter (Ben Affleck) was selling the company to the interviewees. He only illustrated how rich he is and how much money they will be earn. He promised them that the company will provide training material and, then, the money comes. The speech was an ultimate boosting sales talk. The recruiter knew the needs in the room and he knew he could give them what they want. In realty, indeed, sale is everything business about. However, getting to “Yes” is not as easy as it is played in the movie. Most of the time people say “No” to you. It also played in the movie that a successful sales talk will not give the customer to say “No,” and taught us how to turn a “No,” or some other excuses into a “Yes.” I quote, “It’s either you sale him the stock or he sales you a ‘No’.” I feel very convincing on that.
    In this movie, the former occupation as an illegal casino owner and later a legal stock broker is interesting. Seth says “It’s funny looking back. The illegal business I was running was the most legitimate thing I had going. I looked my customers in the eye and provided a service they wanted. Now, I don’t even look at my customers and I push them something they never asked for.” This implied in the movie that buying stocks (investing) is similar to gambling. You give money in to a money pool, either you get more back, or give them all in. For the gamblers, they bring the money to Seth and ask for the “service.” But for the customers of the investing company, they are buying something they don’t know. The idea makes Seth feel bad. Doing business is about money in and out. Investing is taking risks. The basic Finance theory taught us that the more profit it brings the higher risk it takes. As a sales person, you can push your customer to buy things they want in whatever means. But, only one principle should follow: Do the right things. When a deal is closed, the company earned the profit and the customer gets the service. Both sides should be satisfied. If one side is not satisfied, this is not a balanced sale. An unbalanced sale is not a right thing. Warren Buffet also once said: “Never break the law.” I think that is a very important motto every business man should follow.

  57. I found this to be an interesting movie, it was interesting at the beginning how crazy these brokers partied, their carelessness and as you go further through the movie you see just how low the morals of these brokers at this deceptive company are.

    In the journey to see just how low and ethically bankrupt these brokers are willing to go. It switches to the main character, Seth, who has started a gambling business in his home. Seth is running a prosperous, but illegal, business when he is offered the opportunity to become a stock broker and make millions. Seth joins this business to impress his dad and finally get his acceptance; little does he realize he must sell his soul on the way.

    As Seth joins the firm and enters into their business he begins to realize many anomalies, and even though the finance world is know to be extremely cutthroat, he realizes that his firm makes an obscene profit, illegally large “rips”, has hidden files, alternate buildings, and shredded paperwork. He learns how the firm illegally makes its money and how he destroys people’s lives and feels regret, and with the FBI closing in on him, informs the police of the information he knows. Unfortunately, even though the movie ends positively, based on the beginning of the movie, the firm actually restarts and Seth returns.

  58. Wen Jiun Tsai

    Boiler Room started the scene of a illegal casino run by Seth Davis and extend the theme of the illegal transaction done in an illegal stock brokerage company. The movie reflects parts of the reality in complicated financial market. It revealed how people walk in the gray areas to exploit the illegal money and take advantage from the investors.

    In the movie, Seth and his father represented two opposite types of people. Seth represented the dark side in society and his father represented the bright side, the justice in society.

    In the stock brokerage company, it was full of the greed, filthy language, sex, fight, and etc to blind the true heart of human beings. However, Seth was not totally solicited by those vanity and recognized the core of the dirty game. Eventually he regret what he had done to his clients and tried his last efforts to get his client out of trouble. The movie advocated the bright side of life and justice in society by showing Seth’s companionship to his client and the relationship with his father.

    In terms of financial market, the operation in it focuses on the prosperity bringing to people with the limitation of ethics and laws. However, people in there covered by the money and greed are easily astray. Nonetheless, only the legitimate transaction in this free market will prolong in long term.

  59. I have seen Boiler Room a few times and still continue to enjoy it. The movie focuses on Seth Davis, who drops out of college and makes his living running an underground casino at his house. Eventually, at the insistence of his father to find a real, legal job, he begins training at JT Marlin, a brokerage firm.

    Obviously throughout the movie, there are various major ethical decisions and dilemmas. Seth finds out how the firm really makes all their money and must decide whether he should stick around and make a nice profit or give it up. There is also the issue of his father as a judge and his influence and decisions on helping Seth to get out of his dilemma.

    However, I think one of the most interesting aspects of the movie is how successful Seth is able to become without having received any formal higher education. He successfully runs his own business out of his house, and then quickly picks up on the business at the brokerage house. He may not have a college degree but he has a natural ability to understand the business environment and market himself and his product to clients. He is smart enough and ambitious enough that he doesn’t need a college degree to be successful.

    This leads me to question the purpose of obtaining higher education. What exactly is the value of an MBA? Is a sense of business something that can be learned or are people just born with a natural ambition and ability to succeed in the business environment? Seth never received an undergraduate degree and yet he was better at his job than most of his coworkers, whom some percentage of presumably had some type of degree. I guess it comes down to if a degree truly adds value or just looks good on a resume`.

  60. Michael Warren

    This movie is about a man named Seth David who becomes a stock broker for J.T. Marlin. He starts out at the beginning of a movie as a college drop out who runs an underground casino inside his appartment. He begins to work for J.T. Marlin to make a lot of money and to earn his father’s respect. He soon finds out that J.T. Marlin is performing illegal business practices by persuiading people to buy stocks of companies that don’t exist and are not going public and that is how their employees make so much money. Seth continues to cheat people out of their money, especially a man named Harry, after finding this out. Seth eventually gets confronted by the FBI and later helps them bring down the firm. Seth did perform one good deed at the end of the movie by getting Harry back his money. This movie showed how people can act unethical especially when money is involved.

  61. Ariana Axelrod

    The movie “Boiler Room” focuses on the issue of business ethics. The main character, Seth, begins the movie dropping out of college and starting an underground, illegal casino. Only after his father pushs him to get a real job does Seth close the casino and start working at a brokerage firm, J.T. Marlin. However, he is faced with yet another ethical dilemma within the firm. J.T. Marlin was creating an artificial demand for stock in order to exploit their investors. The morals of the stock brokers within the company were extremely warped and Seth had to decide whether to stay on board and make a potentially large amount of money or stop working there. Ultimately, his father plays a great influence in his decision to do the right thing.

    Ethics is a huge issue within the business world and this movie illustrates a good example of the problem. It is also quite entertaining and was all together a good movie pick.

  62. Philip St. Clair

    Boiler room is a classic that I have liked for a long time. When I first watched the movie I did not understand a lot of the financial jargon that I did understand this time around, but still that did not lessen my enjoyment of the film. Ethics is the most common theme in the movie and someone could probably write a 40 page thesis on it. Rather, this movie also shows that financial markets are not as concrete or as solid as they might appear. This is evident now more than ever with the financial crisis that the United States is currently facing. However, I see broker agency more similar to an Enron or WorldCom rather than a Freddie Mac of Fannie Mae. This is because of the type of dishonest that was present. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae performed their normal business activities, just perhaps unintelligently or with greed in mind. Enron and WorldCom simply lied to everyone. What Enron and the firm from Boiler Room did was illegal; while what has put us into the current financial downspin was the result of unethical however still legal activity.
    I did however like Ben Affleck’s interview style. It was very dynamic and engaging while hitting all the right points. Of course now we know why he asked some of the questions he did, but nevertheless I really do like the interview by committee style if it were supplemented to an individual interview system or structure.
    The last point I want to make if on the noticeable change that happens to Seth Davis’s character throughout the movie. At first he was smart but shy. Then he transforms into a selling machine almost overnight, only to get broken back down again by the FEDs. Even though he was selling lies he still gained a tremendous amount of skill and talent from the position because now he should be able to sell anything.
    There is not much more to say about this movie. Most everything is right on the surface and requires very little analysis but it still is an excellent watch just as the rest of the movies until now have been.

  63. The movie Boiler Room focuses on the issue of business ethics. The main character Seth David starts out as a college drop out who runs an illegal casino from his basement, but in an attempt to win over his father’s approval starts training at a brokerage firm. At this firm, Seth meets some very charismatic colleagues who are fast talkers and he quickly picks up the business as well. Seth learns of some unethical behavior at the firm and finds himself in a dilemma whether to turn in his friends to the FBI or to continue preying off families to make a substantial profit.

    In the end, Seth does the right thing and protects one of his clients who stood to lose his entire savings and family as well, by cooperating with the FBI. This poses an interesting turn of events, as most of the brokers went to college and continued to do unethical activities cause they were told to and were seeing profit. It took the former illegal gambling, college drop out to do what was right.

  64. Matthew Passero

    I actually own this movie because of how much I like it. The movie does a good job of showing many ethical dilemmas in regards mainly to the stock broker business. It’s very interesting to see what money can make some people do, and how far they are willing to go to get that money. Overall, with the the suspenseful storyline, a great cast of actors and the characters they play, and the somewhat real life situations, this movie truely is a classic and teaches a great lesson.

  65. Daniel Pokidaylo

    Boiler room was a very interesting and thought provoking movie about working in the financial field. It followed Seth’s life from the moment before he became a broker up until the end of his brokerage career. You can see how the financial sector changes people’s personalities and makes everyone money hungry, and even a good person can be manipulated by the money and power. Fortunately for Seth, he was in the right places at the right times to discover what was going on with the company, and was able to get out. At the same time, it took a poor man losing all of his money because of Seth for Seth to realize how corrupt the business was.

    After all the accounting scandals and the creation of Sarbanes-Oxley, things like the chop-shop would never work, however, the financial world probably dealt with corrupt compliance officers for a long time before anyone realized, and this movie made people more aware of what companies had the potential of doing. This was an entertaining movie, and if I work in financial services, I will definitely make sure the company is not screwing its clients for its own well-being.

  66. HSI-CHUN WANG

    There is no easy way to be rich. Like Seth in the movie. He is eager to make big money, but he choose to go short-cut. Eventually, he got arrest and put everything from beginning. Isn’t it wasting time? Therefore, if he can be a legitimate broker, he probably has more chance to be rich. In addition, if we want to invest in financial market, we would need to do more preparation such as collecting information, analyzing market and so on. It is better not to listen some unreliable inside information. Do not want to think about jumping to be millionaire. Step by step is the most proper and reliable way to make life easier.

  67. Anthony Olenik

    Seth Davis is a person focused on money. He wants to do almost anything to earn a lot of it, quick. J.T. Marlin finds Seth and convinces him to join the investment firm that can make him rich. The problem is that the firm takes advantage of simple minded investors. Once the firm is investigated, Seth is confronted with ethical decisions of how to deal with business practices he was involved with firsthand.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is in place to find and prosecute ethical breaches in the financial markets, like this situation. Traders and other financial personnel have to be aware of the transactions they conduct. Employees need to remain aware of their actions and be aware of the bigger picture. Ignorance is no longer justification for unethical business practices in the financial markets, no matter how large or small the transactions may be.

  68. Lindsay Burleson

    After watching this movie, the first topic that came to mind was the current economic crisis. I feel that our situation is very closely mirrored here. All the brokers from JT Marlin (minus Seth and one other) are living way beyond their means. These men buy cars and homes they cannot afford, gamble away all their money, and spend without thought. This is even encouraged by Michael, who tells his employees that a big payoff is coming, they should all go out and buy a new car or home. In reality, they have no money to put into the gas tanks of their expensive cars and their credit ratings are horrible.
    This is the same crisis going on today, just in a smaller scale. Americans are trying to live beyond their means, purchasing homes without a down payment, paying interest only morgages. They refinance just to get bye. By using this movie as an example, maybe the public will understand the consequences of their actions.

  69. Jeff Wolniewicz

    Not only was the movie Boiler Room an enjoyable movie, it gave an excellent look into the financial world and the growing importance of business ethics. We are introduced to Seth Davis in this movie, a drop out from Queens College. Seth’s dad is a demanding man and Seth desperately wants to please him and make him proud. The illegal gambling casino that Seth runs for marginal money certainly doesn’t impress Seth’s father. Seth decides to join a firm called J.T. Marlin and sees fast money in his future. Seth picks up the business fast and learns that he is quite skilled at selling. However, Seth soon realizes that everything at the firm is not as it seems, and that some of the people he works with are performing illegal and unethical activities to exploit people of their money.

    This movie relates to the current situation in the United States. The economy is collapsing because of the activities of many companies that are now bankrupt or being bailed out. Companies led people into investments and mortages that they simply could not afford. They stretched Americans too far and now everyone is paying for attempting to live a life that we couldn’t afford. Unethical behavior and greed were driving themes in Boiler Room. Unfortunately, the same two themes have appeared in real life and it is yet to be seen how bad the damage will be.

  70. While watching Boiler Room during the scene where they are all at Ben Affleck’s house watching Wall Street and quoting it as if it were the bible, I decided I would watch both movies. Both movies deal with stock brokers engaging in illegal activities; insider trading in Wall Street, and a form of pump and dump in Boiler Room. In each film, young ambitious no bodies are introduced to the life styles of the rich and famous, and are tempted with the opportunity to accomplish the same, albeit through criminal acts. The movies differ however in that Seth in Boiler Room is not immediately aware of the situation that is taking place around him, whereas in Wall Street, Gekko admits straight out they everyone is committing insider trading and that is how you have to get ahead, and that is what Bud does. These two movies, though produced just over a decade apart both touch upon Machiavelli’s issues of the ends justifying the means. All of the successful characters in these movies know that they are hurting and taking away from the little characters as with Bud’s dad and the airline business, and the family man in Boiler Room who gave up life’s savings, yet the injustice still takes place. It is only the intervention of the law that brings about an end to both films. These two movies portray the successful stock broker as the fast talker, much like that of Nick Naylor in Thank You For Smoking who was the man who could get any girl he wants, and in this case, it’s sell to any man he wants.

  71. Jennifer Gilligan

    Watching the movie “Boiler Room” made me think of the current financial market crisis our economy is facing. Both of these crisis seemed to be caused by unethical business decisions. In the movie the brokers at this firm are pushing bad stock onto their clients. They don’t care to ask why or how they make so much more money than normal brokers, even those who work on Wall Street. All they are concerned with is making as much money as possible, even if that means engaging in very unethical business. This can be compared to how in past years banks were issuing mortgages to people who ultimately could not afford them. They probably realized how risky these mortgages were but they did not care at the time because they were making good money. Now the economy is suffering for their bad decisions.

    In the movie Seth is impressed with how successful everyone is and how good they are at their jobs. He then comes to realize that it does not make sense that they are able to make so much profit off of these sales. After some investigating he figures out the company is corrupt. Towards the end of the movie he has an incident with one client who invested all of his family’s savings into these bad stocks. Guilt starts to haunt Seth and he realizes what he’s doing is wrong.

  72. Boiler Room tells the story of Seth Davis, a young college dropout who wants to make a quick buck. A client of his back room casino involves him in the firm JT Marlin. The firm is an illegal operation that allows its brokers and owners to become rich at the expense of ordinary investors who are sucked in under heavy pressure any hype. As Seth gets deeper he begins asking questions and discovers how the firm is able to pay its brokers. Unfortunately, he makes no action and is arrested by the FBI. Seth is able to enter in a plea deal for his cooperation in bringing down the firm. Corporate corruption brought many unwise investors down and eventually the brokers and everyone involved in facilitating the stock trades. Boiler Room serves as a good reminder to companies in the current economic crisis to be on guard against corruption and unethical behavior.

  73. Jasmit Singh

    Boiler room is a must watch movie for all business majors as it educates about the way business is done in the finance market and shows how fiercely ambitious people like Seth who get into the business of a casino followed by joining a brokerage firm want to do anything to make huge amount of money .However, a good part about Seth’s character is how his drive to succeed makes him run a business successfully and he makes good money from it without really having a college degree .The movie also deals with responsibilities of a broker and shows how a poor man looses all his money because of an unethical broker(Seth). The unethical ways taken by Seth leave him with nothing but a tenure in jail .It can be clearly observed in the movie that one should not depend on insider trading for money transactions, its not only unethical but also highly unreliable .Overall, a good movie which talks about the ethical issues faced in money making financial markets.

  74. Being a Finance Major, I really enjoyed the movie. This movie demonstrates the importance of ethics in business world. This movie shows that how people make profit and also is the lesson for the many people who have invested money or planning to invest. A person should do research about the company in which he is planning to invest in.
    It also reflects conflict of interest when junior stock broker had a feeling that something is not going right and how come his boss is making more money than other brokerage firms in the area. Then he decides to go to next door and finally see an empty warehouse with full of telephones and that’s where he realize that he is not into any legitimate business. The business is just selling someone’s stock and creating artificial demand when it wants investors and then removes the pressure, due to which prices falls and investors lose their money.
    This movie is a good example of making sure to research unknown companies before investing and not giving responsibilities and freedom to a broker.

  75. Yu-Chen Jeng

    Boiler Room is a very special movie for me because I am really interested in the stock market. I love this movie. I like the scene in the meeting room where the person who trains the trainees “motivates” them. Seth Davis was courage by him to be a good broker. Everyone has to find what he really wants to have and pursue it hardly, but maybe it should be in a good way. In the movie, the Seth work hard for the objective in a different way. He operates a private casino which is illegal, and sells bad stocks to the customers to make a lot of commission.

  76. In the movie, Seth, owning a underground casino, had his own living style and earned his own money. Under the pressure from his father, Seth needed to find a normal job and then he got into a illegal brokerage firm. In order to earn quick money and rebuild his relationship with his father, Seth shows his ambition to become rich and eager to learn everything. In that company a group of people, just like Seth, have a goal that is to earn their first million dollar in 3 years. But Seth starts to question himsef if he is doing the right thing when he finds out that they are getting richer and richer while their clients are getting poorer and poorer. This is the message this movie delivers, ethics. It is such a coincident that wall street just went down and lead to the economy crisis few weeks ago before we watch this movie. Well, just like Seth, everything needs to start over again.

  77. Chin-Hsiang Lin

    It gave ma a wondering question if we need to get a good education degree. Seth never got an undergraduate degree and yet he has good performance on his job than most of his coworkers, who have well educated. It seems that owning a good education degree cannot add value on your resume. In my opinion, owning a sense of business or work experience sometimes is more important than a college or master degree.
    In this movie, there are also some interesting ethical issues to worth to think about. Seth finds out how the company really makes money and had to decide whether make money or give it up. The Seth’s father who is well educated also helped Seth to engage in the unethical behavior. This also gives me a lesson. Ethics may no longer important than when issue sticks with love.

  78. This is a sad story of a guy trying to hold on to his last ounce of humanity. At first Seth is working at an illegal casino. He is doing well for himself. Then he is approached by and old buddy of his. Seth sees his friend’s nice cars and fancy parties and then is invited to work with his friend.

    Seth is taking this job, not only for the lifestyle, but because he believes that it is a legit job. He wanted to get away from the illegal business world. Midway through the movie Seth begins selling fake stocks to innocent people through cold calling. Eventually the feds find out what is going on and try to raid the place. Seth gets his humanity back by buying back the stock of his very first sale.

  79. Lauren Spielberg

    Boiler Room shows the potential corruptions that are possible and actually sometimes happen in the financial markets. People are motivated by greed and this can be seen by the company JT Marlin selling stock of non existing companies to average people who may not even be able to afford to buy the stock in the first place. What JT Marlin did was unethical, but the company didn’t care about ethics. Certain companies now in the financial markets don’t care about ethics either, just about making a lot of money. Boiler Room also shows the dynamics of the financial markets and how a company can be on top one day and then be out of business the next. Lately, this has been very common especially in the current economic crisis.

  80. Chris Bellinzoni

    Although there are the obvious ties between this movie and our interest in financial markets as MBA students, I found its view of human behaviors and tendencies to be more revealing. What I think is shown here is that no matter how profitable an enterprise is people will always be looking for a way to buck the system and make money for themselves in a way that takes them ‘out of bounds.’ It’s obvious that several of the main players at JT Marlin possess some skill. With these skills I’m sure that if they attempted careers at honest firms doing honest work that they could be successful, but what seems to interest them almost as much as the money is the method in which they make their money. I think this give an insight into human behavior in that eventually every loophole will be found and exploited, and no matter how many new laws or regulations are created there will always be someone out there looking to take advantage of them. Human beings for the most part flawed individuals, left to their own devices will continue to find new ways to take advantage of whatever situation they are presented with, and as I believe this movie shows, it’s simply just a part of our nature.

  81. Niamh Delaney

    While watching the film “Boiler Room,” I could not help but think about the ethics in today’s business world. The brokers at J.T. Marlin did not care about advising clients and generating profits in a mutually beneficial and ethical manner. Rather, the brokers were entirely driven by monetary gain and did not care who they had to step on in the process. They had no qualms about artificially inflating demand and encouraging clients to invest in bad stock.

    At the beginning of the film, when we first meet Seth, a dropout from Queens College, he is running an underground gambling casino. Because his occupation does not impress his father, he is forced to get a “real job” with a somewhat prestigious title attached. I cannot help but question, whether his initial illegal job was more ethical than his more socially acceptable job as a broker.

    I think this movie would have meant a lot less to me had I watched it a year ago, but in light of the current financial crisis, the reality of greed on unethical business practices on Wall Street really resonates with me. This movie only highlighted the consequences for individual investors losing their hard earned money, but today when we pick up newspapers or turn on the news we can see the big picture of unethical business decisions. We can see a suffering economy, rising living costs, unemployment, lost retirement savings, and a general lack of trust in the government and financial institutions. Hopefully current and future business students will look at movies like “Boiler Room” and the current financial crisis as cautionary tales of what happens when greed trumps ethics.

  82. Molly McManus

    Boiler Room is quite an eye opening and daunting movie, especially today, in respect to trust and ethics within the financial market. The movie shows what personal greed can do to innocent people and the economy as a whole if these institutions are not properly regulated and do not abide by the appropriate compliance procedures. After Seth figured out JT Marlin’s actual plan and strategy, he had a hard personal decision to make. Seth put in his training time, passed the Series 7, he gave his senior broker all of his mandatory sales, and was finally starting to make commissions for himself. You feel some sympathy for Seth when he first finds out because he wanted that job because he wanted to make his father proud and get out of his illegal gambling business. However, once he found out the true nature of JT Marlin, he kept selling the fake stock to innocent individuals in order to gain a personal profit, he thought he was owed something for the time he put in. This movie shows the possible corruption and conflicts of interest that can happen within the financial institutions, which explains why many people are slightly hesitant to invest their money in the volatile stock market.

  83. Kuo-Shen Huang

    After watching this movie, I found that Boiler Room is a riveting movie because I saw how those people make their one million dollars by the “boiler room”. Everyone all want to pursue the wealth and obsessed with the speed of rich as well as success. However, if some persons just constantly seek to be wealthy but ignore what is the accurate approach to make money, you may be like those people in the movies who believe those young “operators” and, finally, lose your savings.
    I think that this movie can become good textbook for those “telephone sales”. They completely recognize the person’s personality of greedy and take advantage of this point to achieve their target. On the contrary, keeping learning and sufficient knowledge would lead you to be more successful. If you are poor at the knowledge about financial in the capital market with uncontrollable greedy, it is very possible for you to purchase worthless stock and make you fail all the time.

  84. Chiao-Yin Chang

    After watching the movie “Boiler room” film, I think the plots of this film could be a very good trainning lectrue for telemarketing company staff training materials. It depict many telephone marketing skills with the situation by using human greedily personality to achieve their goal.

    The so-called ‘ knowledge is power “is full of this film. If we could not recognize the financial market very precisely would be using by the group just like the company to make money with unjustice way.They are completely lack of moral and cheating their customers just for their profit. I will say that we should manage our money appropreiately and control our mind in order to prevent from failling on investing.

  85. Chiao-Yin Chang

    After watching the movie “Boiler room” film, I think the plots of this film could be a very good training lecture for telemarketing company staff training materials. It depict many telephone marketing skills with the situation by using human greedily personality to achieve their goal.

    The so-called ‘ knowledge is power “is full of this film. If we could not recognize the financial market very precisely would be using by the group just like the company to make money with injustice way. They are completely lack of moral and cheating their customers just for their profit. I will say that we should manage our money appropriately and control our mind in order to prevent from failing on investing.

  86. Wen-Ting (Doris) Wei

    High return is always accompanied with high risk and there is no free lunch. In the movie, the company generated lots of profits by cheating naive investors and in the long run its scheme was exposed by FBI. Financial market must be legally operated to maintain the efficiency and fair trading. From the ethic prospective, brokers can’t take advantage of investors by misleading them just because they don’t have sufficient information. The other thing that triggered my thinking was the relationship between Seth and his father. The way they expressed their love needs to be adjusted. I think parents should put themselves in their children’s shoes and listen to them wholeheartedly. I am pleased to see they resolved the problem with their relationship finally.

  87. Shih-Ching Wang

    This movie represents some problems of contemporary investors who want to make money through investing in capital market, including stocks, bonds, and derivatives. Most investors don’t really understand their investing companies. They just invest what brokers suggest. However, in fact, these brokers probably know nothing about the market. What they recommend you invest are that their companies, the brokerages, ask them to find investors rather than that could really make large profits. Furthermore, high returns mean high risks, so you have to take more uncertainties if attempting to get much money by venture.
    For a manager, when the company suffers to financial crisis, he should find regular ways to solve it, such as revising its strategies or increasing its operating capacity, not to get capitals by providing fake information for publics. Managers always consider that high stock price means good performance. Thus, they are tempted to raise the stock price via buying treasury stocks. Nevertheless, this doesn’t improve the performance actually, even makes it worse. Financial management is a key for any companies, so we should not only figure it out well, but also do it in regular and correct ways.

  88. I believe that the link between the ethical issues depicted in the film Boiler Room and the ethical concerns currently prevalent in the United States economy is extremely clear even to the most casual of viewers. Without question, the film does a magnificent job of portraying the unfortunate worldview of a number of greedy brokers, and it is quite successful in convincing the viewer to dislike these characters right from the start. This commonality in opinion speaks to the great characterization displayed in the movie. The actors do a thorough job of getting into character, and their performance is actually rather stunning. Overall, although I have a difficult time in believing that a significant number of actual stock brokers are as immoral as those shown in the film; I think that the work brings to light the problems that arise in the business world when individuals become excessively self-centered. Now, as former CEOs of several now defunct corporations are being paraded in front of Congress to answer for their purportedly deliberate mismanagement, it is evident that standards of ethical behavior must somehow be infused into the modern business environment. Perhaps this must be accomplished via governmental oversight, legal action, and / or increased educational efforts, but what is most definitely clear is that some action must be taken in order to straighten out companies and enhance managerial transparency. This course of action, although necessary, does bring about the problem of needing to differentiate between malicious management action and simple managerial incompetence. While I am not a proponent of excessive government intervention in the business world, there is a strong case to be made for defined legal standards in this area in order to effectively hold wrongdoers accountable in today’s business world.

  89. Michael Buxbaum

    “Boiler Room” is one of my all-time favorite movies that reminds me of the summer internship I once had in which I was cold calling potential clients all summer. The real life version really does get as crazy as it does in the movie. The real issue here however is business ethics. J.T. Marlin is a firm of young, keen money hungry men who essentially are selling fake stock to steal money from their clients. Seth is soon faced with the dilemma of giving up his new life of having no regard for money or facing the truth and turning in his co-workers to the FBI and in the end he makes the right decision, with some influence from his skeptical father.

  90. Boiler Room brought us a picture of illegal trading in financial market. The stockbrokers of Marlin are promised to be millionaires from the first day of arrival. All what they are expected to do is follow the instruction and work hard rather than creative or use their talent. The young men were attracted by the magic picture and their geed were incented. Seth was one of them. He “need help getting rich quickly”, and therefore thought this is the place to go. But gradually, he found out the scheme of the company and did not take this as granted. David dropped out his greedy and did what is right.
    In this film, we can see that how the brokerage is manipulated by money and how the increasing figures driver people crazy. The ethic issue is always the hot topic when refer to business. However, how could the professions in finance calm down and take many families’ happiness into account? I know that when people in finance, either stock trader or investor, they could gradually be driven by the figures and eventually have the ambitious to control over everything. They can do much more than they thought they could to increase the fortune, regardless of the risk they take. People whoever works in financial market professionally should be very ethical and calmness.
    Let’s also take a look at Lehman Brothers, who fell down overnight and cast nightmares on many families. What Lehman brothers always emphasize was “driving diversified growth” and “doing the right thing”. However, they gradually went out of the way and driven by the ambitious of generating more fortune regardless of the risk they took and the risk their customers and employee were taking.

  91. Serdar Sonmez

    This movie is very much related to financial markets of today. It explains alot about the unethical behaviors in order to gain capital for the firm. We can also see the management issues of treating employees with disrespect, putting them in a stressful environment and forcing them to gain as much money as they can.
    It reminds me of the mortgage situations we had in the west coast. Bankers granting loans to people that they know can’t afford paying them back. They did it to make money and didn’t think about the consequences, just like in the Boiler Room, brokers didnt even think about the consequences of their unethical behaviors.

  92. It goes almost without saying that most stockbrokers reap the benefits of a booming stock market by legal means. But Boiler Room shows the dark side of all the fun the economy is having with the bull market. The brokers in the boiler room are forceful, persistent, aggressive, and has highly persuaded sale technique. In order to get round investor invest in, they will create a sense of urgency about a stock, such as telling the investor it will explode any day.
    Except exposes ugly investment scams, the film also has as illustration of our current society in which morality and ethics have take a back seat to profits, and status. Every business has a social responsibility toward society. Therefore, it is important for the business to maximize profits and minimize negative effects on the society at the same time.

  93. In the movie “Boiler Room”, Seth Davis is desperate to make his father proud. In this process, he almost loses himself in the world of money. We can see how the brokerage is manipulated by money. Nowadays, a lot of young people like Seth are eager to be success and in haste to prove to someone or to the world that they are somebody. This movie is like an alert for those young adult, which tells young people to be very careful to choose their path, follow the ethical way to do things, and never blindly obey what they think is right. In addition, people have to take responsibility for any consequences of their choice.

  94. George DeVardo

    Boiler Room is a very interesting movie because it puts Seth in a very controversial position and including his very conflicted feelings about his father, makes for a very stressed character.

    Seth’s desire to prove himself to his father as well as to himself blinded him at the beginning from realizing what JT Marlin was, which was a hoax.

    He did not start to care or delve into their secrets until he started to feel bad about stealing people’s money. This movie shows that you need to listen to a conscience when entering the workplace, the FIRST TIME you feel something is wrong. It does not matter after the fact, but people should know about the place they work for and if there are any reservations about the work they are doing then they should make it a point to find out what they don’t know so they don’t end up owing the FBI or SEC information like poor Seth.

  95. There is definately a great deal to find out about this subject.
    I really like all of the points you’ve made.

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