Wall Street

wallstreet.jpg Wall Street is a movie about two men- a young, ambitious broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) and a Wall Street legend Garden Gekko (Michael Douglas). Bud is an impressionable upstart who is impressed by the power and status Gekko has. Gekko, on his part, is a good judge of people- He sees the ambition in Bud’s eyes and the weakness in his character. Gekko offers to help Bud succeed on Wall Street and Bud gets pulled into Gekko’s world, even as it takes him away from his own father. A must see movie for every person interested in the business world!

When President Clinton campaigned in 1992 he promised to end the greed culture of the 1980s. Garden Gekko took the opposite stand- “Greed is Good” he declared emphatically. Most people don’t know that the “Greek is Good” speech that Gekko gave in this movie is based on an actual speech Ivan Boesky, a russian immigrant who was a major player in the 1980s Wall Street insider trading scandal, delivered at the University of California-Berkeley in 1986.


44 responses to “Wall Street

  1. “Wallstreet” was quite an interesting film. I found it rather sad that Martin Sheen’s character ended up falling into a trap and hurting his father. Throughout the movie, legal issues such as insider tips as well as ethical issues are quite prevelent. There is a scene in the film where “Bud” is asked to sign a power of attorney form which gives him the power to do all of “Gordon’s” trades. It also makes him entirely unlinked to “Gordon”. It is at this point where I thought it was becoming obvious that “Bud” was being used. Overall, I thought the movie was a great learning experience.

  2. Wall Street was a very interesting movie. During the M&A boom in the 1980s there was a lot of insider trading going on. Tips were leaked about what company was buying who to a type of trader called arbitrageurs who bought shares of the company to be acquired and shorted the acquiring company after receiving a tip from an inside source at another firm. Most of these deals were hostile takeovers which Bud was setting his father’s company up for, he just didn’t see the greedy intentions of Mr.Gekko. This movie is a perfect depiction of the market for corporate control where a mismanaged company is more subject to be bought out and restructured and sometimes sold for a profit. Some say this keeps the pressure on upper management to act in the shareholders best interest while other believe the tactics are unethical. In my opinion Gordon’s intentions were mostly unethical, all he saw was an undervalued company with assets he could sell at a profit, leaving many unemployed.

  3. I had to laugh at the two inch portable TV screen, the cell phone, and the tape recorder actually taped to Bud at the end of the movie to record Mr. Gekko. Excellent movie. The movie portrayed a “dark side” to business. It just shows that money and greed can trap even the best of people. All of us will probably come across a time in which our ethics and beliefs are put to the test. Throughout the movie I was reminded that there are no short cuts in business. If you put in the hard work, like Bud should have, he would have eventually reached his goal to “be a player in the game.” If you come across an easy dollar, there is probably some “fine print” that comes along with it.

  4. Nicole Furman

    This movie made me really consider the implications of being too greedy in the business world. As in the real world, there was a lot of pressure for the young professionals to find their big breaks and make a lot of money. With this pressure, comes the added pressure of making unethical choices in order to attain wealth and success. Obviously, Bud couldn’t hold up to this pressure in the beginning. It made me angry to see the lengths he would go in order to make Mr. Gekko happy and to make big money. However, I was proud of him in the end when he decided to stand up to Gekko. He finally realized what his values were, and I think that’s the real beginning of being successful! I think it was good to watch this movie because it brings an un-Enron related ethical issue to light. Sometimes watching a Hollywood movie can bring something home better than textbook examples. Hopefully this movie gives everyone something to think about when they enter the workforce and those pressures to be unethical start looking very appealing!

  5. Wall Street was a very good movie. The movie is a good representation of poor morals and disappointing business ethics in the world of business. It has many good examples of real life situations one might encounter in the business world today. One such example was when Bud asks an old college friend what he knew about the merging of his company. This seems harmless, but is illegal when it is the means to a financial gain. I believe this movie is a great example of insider trading and would recommend it to all.

  6. Wall Street is a well-executed movie with some really good acting. This movie was about the enticement, temptings, and dark side of the busniess world. The story follows two men, Bud Fox and Garden Gekko, and their paths to success. Bud is young and ambitious with a hunger to do whatever it takes to get a break. When Bud finally meets Gekko, he is given his chance to make it big at the cost of bending and breaking some rules. The two embark on a business-venture-type journey that would ultimately bring them both down. This movie is an excellent illustration of the often skinny, grey line that is painted between legal and ethical in the insider trading world of stock brokers and agents. Just because something is legal does not make it ethical. Of course, many of the things that Garden Gekko encourages Bud Fox to do are out-right illegal. As the movie plays out, Bud Fox gets wrapped up in the big bucks and gets played like a pawn. Only after its too late does he see this. I really enjoyed the movie, not because I left it with a good feeling, but because of its “realness” element and the superior acting. I would imagine at the time of its release, this moive was a big hit and an “eye-opener” for many.

  7. It would be easy to fall into the same game Bud was in. At first he was hesitant because he knew what he was doing was illegal. After the money started coming in he continued playing the game. It would be hard to not take the money if you were in the same situation. Although, sooner or later you end up like Bud. One part I really liked explaining this was when Gordon told Bud about the Pooh book. Pooh ends up putting his nose in a honey jar one too many times and gets stuck. This is what happens to Bud.

    One other thing that was interesting was when Bud started hanging around with Gordon. The people around him only cared about money. The example is Darien, when Bud tells her how they can make it through, she says that she wants more than to just get by.

    Wall Street is a good movie which makes you think, “What would you do?”

  8. I liked Wall Street. This hits on a lot of key points in greed and corporate scandal. It would be relatively easy to fall into that trap after the struggles he had with money. I think the main character just kept getting further and further into the mess and couldnt see a way out. I think that Charlie Sheen did a surprisingly good job in the movie. The Street can be a dirty place, and they did a great job of portraying some of the corruption that exists.

  9. Wall Street was a great movie. I really enjoyed watching it. Additionally, ithe film taught valuable lessons about values and greed. The senior partner of the firm said it best, “Money makes you do things you don’t want to do.” There is a lot of fact in his statement. Bud allowed his greed of money to justify doing things he did would not normally do. In the beginning of the movie, when Bud first began his relationship with Gordon, he was hesitant to follow Gordon’s wishes. It was only when his vision became clouded by dreams and promises of wealth. Bud even stated during the balcony scene in his new penthouse, “…who am I?” He is questioning his values because he knew his actions were wrong. I beleive the most important lesson to take from this movie is the importance of knowing yourself. Most of us will be in situations were our instict tells us something is not right, the question is will we have the character and discipline to stick with our gut. The only way to do this is to know yourself and that what you beleive in and stand for is right.

  10. This movie had a great message and many people who already commented on it are exactly right. This movie showed how greedy people can get and what they will risk to get more and more money. It also showed the difficult decisions they can make to attain that greed even though they may be illegal and go against their moral being.

    Any person could get themselves caught in a trap like this one once they saw the money flowing in. “Bud” turned it around at the end and finally got behind his family and trying hurting the man who destroyed him. By saving the airline and his fathers job he was respected by the people that mattered…his family.

  11. I agree with what others have been posting about getting caught up in this sort of trap. When you see a person become so successful doing it that way and getting away with it, you believe you can do it to. It takes a lot of character for a person not to get involved in something like that, especially after they see the dollar amounts coming in. I agree with scott and a person really needs to know themself and what they stand for to avoid this type of situation.

  12. I agree with Matt that in the end, it was Bud’s family that mattered to him more than the money. The movie has a great message about integrity and honest hard work being more valuable than all the cold hard cash dishonesty can bring. In light of the more recent Enron scandals, and many other CEO golden-parachute controversies, its good to see a movie where good prevails. The problem of power and money bringing corruption has been a theme in the business world at least as far back as the movie’s eighties setting and continues today. More people should take courage from Bud’s story and stand up to do what’s right (even if it means blowing the whistle on yourself, as well).
    At first, I thought this movie was going to be boring. I was surprised to find that it was actually a riveting and moving story set in a high-stakes stockmarket world. Besides, it was fun to see John McGinley (aka Dr Cox from Scrubs) make an appearance as well.

  13. I liked this movie very much, and if you’ve watched Boiler Room, they quote the lines from Wall Street in there. Good movie about working within the securities industry. Not going to repeat what everyone else has said here. But truth be known, if you have to debate about whether your decisions will result in a good or bad outcome, you’re mixing with the wrong people. There are always ways to cheat the system, but sooner than later it comes back to you. When people talk about government placing more restrictions upon corporations in light of the Enron scandal, etc., they don’t realize that more restrictions are not always the answer. There are always going to be those people out there who find loopholes and end up cheating again and again.

  14. Farrukh Kamolov

    This movie was other interesting assignment. It reflects two essential points in the life; how money can change the person, and how the people making money in legal and in illegal ways. This movie also proved to me that information is most important part in stock trading. Without new information stock price wood never change. All the action in the movie was taking place in 1985, but all that is very true in our days. I really enjoyed watching Wall Street.

  15. WOW, what an eighties movie that was!! Bud says things like, “We can’t get caught” and “Nothing bad can happen”. If that wasn’t obvious foreshadowing, I don’t know what is. I totally hated the dialogue. Sean Young and Daryl Hannah are very unattractive for hollywood vixens. Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas saved that movie. I’m not even going to talk about Charlie for fear of a defamation lawsuit. Overall, there was a good message, though — Be good, not bad. Bad people go to jail and other bad stuff too. — Besides all of the financial jargon throughout the movie, I am going to have a hard time finding a business concept to write about. Maybe ethics……

  16. Wall Street was a great drama. It touched on many aspects in wall street including espionage, scandals, as well as the greed many businessmen have on Wall Street. This movie also showed how all of this can draw a person in and complete change your life. This change may be good in that you may become rich while at the same time it may turn you into a person you would have never wanted to become.

  17. Eraj Tabaraliev

    I liked to watch “Wall street.” Overall it showed the “bad” side of the Wall Street; hope there is a “good” side of it too :).
    I wish the movie would describe and show in more details about how they did staffs. I mean it did, but not in details, which (I think) would make the movie more interesting. It was really interesting movie and I enjoyed watching it.

  18. Larysa Karasev

    I like this movie. It shows how ambitions and greed can make a person miserable. There is also an issue on love – if a guy has a lot of money (not just survive) – a woman loves him, if he does not – she is somewhere else. Money do not make someone better or worse, but the road to the money can be very dangerous as we see from this movie. I love “Greed speech”! I think it is very powerful, Gekko uses humor, facts, and he makes people believe in him. Great movie, it was worth watching.

  19. James O'Neill

    Bud Fox represents the typical notion of the American dream as he is a young man who wants to climb to the top of industry and make millions of dollars and live a life of excess as a result. Gordon Gecko is a high roller and among the most influential players on Wall Street, and by providing Gecko with insider information about his fathers company, Bud is given the chance to mirror Gecko, and ultimately gains the financial success he always dreamed of.

    This movie makes several observations about financial markets and most of them have played out in recent times just as they did 20 years ago when the movie was made to reflect that particular time period. Insider trading is an issue at the forefront of financial markets. Insider trading, like in the movie with Bud’s father’s airline business, can effectively manipulate company stock prices and change speculation patterns from potential buyers. What results is that the traders are marginally effected because they are most often very well off financially regardless, but the average workers in a company like this lose their livelihood and oftentimes have little to no alternative options to pursue.

    The dangers of insider trading are vast for everyone involved, but this movie raises the question of does the punishment fit the crime for individuals who partake in insider trading? The question is a complex one and occurs often in real industry. For example, with companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, people who either knowingly made faulty decisions or accidentally made faulty decisions are not only being dealt several million dollar severance packages, but some leaders in the industry who created the problems are being brought back in to help create a solution. Insider trading wasn’t the issue here, but it parallels Gecko in Wall Street, because if he spends a few years in jail but can be released to a fortune he’s amassed through unethical and illegal practices, is his punishment fit considering he may have led to hundreds of lost jobs for the ‘every man’ who have no future financial safety?

  20. Alex Yeuchyk

    The movie Wall Street talks about morals and ethics in the world of big money. First, it shows a dream career for a young trader, Bud Fox, who is stuck in a rat race of work, bills and poverty behind his nice suit and handsome outlook. He overcomes the barrier of ethics and puts all he has on the table: he risks his work and career conveying some insider information to his boss, Gordon Gecko. Surprisingly, the boss willingly accepts the hint on the airline and even more, takes Bud in his “team” giving him insightful lessons on how to get more insiders information and use it in his own favor. The young man receives all possible corporate perquisites and even more favors that go well beyond scope of work privileges.
    Finally, the movie depictures all dangers of insider trading showing collapse of Bud’s ideal when Gecko betrays him selling out his father company that Bud previously had promised to turn around and revive. You can never expect fidelity from a person who consistently demonstrates unethical behavior in business and other areas of life. Moreover, the movie shows that legal pay for unethical practices in business can be extremely high, living all viewers to guess what would happen to Gecko after Bud reports his last conversation to the Internal Revenue Service agents.

  21. Jeanette Cole

    “Wall Street” is a classic movie that portrays the highs and lows that come with working in the financial markets. The movie begins by displaying the hustle and bustle that is quintessentially Wall Street. A scene show stockbrokers furiously trading stocks and in about the first 15 minutes of the film the writers throw in just about as many financial terms as you would find in any textbook.

    The film centers around one broker in particular, Mr. Bud Fox, whose life dream is to be the one that is “on the other end of the phone, buying the stocks, not the one selling them.” He dreams of becoming a big shot in the broker world like his idol, Mr. Gordon Gekko. We see that Mr. Fox is an ambitious man and has studied Fortune Magazine in order to find out all about Mr. Gekko, and in doing so, he is given the chance to talk to Mr. Gekko! Mr. Gekko sees some promise in the boy and tells him to go out there and show him something that he doesn’t know. This is when you first sense the intensity that surrounds Mr. Gekko.

    Because of Mr. Fox’s desire to please Mr. Gekko he is swayed and makes his first unethical decision of many. He used information that his father gave him about a favorable union contract to purchase stock from BlueStar Airlines. Due to this, he “bags the elephant” (Mr. Gekko). As the movie continues we see that Mr. Gekko encourages and basically demands that Mr. Fox take part in illegal trading of stocks, basically telling Mr. Fox that “if you are not inside you’re outside,” in response to his hesitation to perform acts of insider trading. Mr. Gekko quotes “The Art of War,” saying that every battle is won before it has even started.

    The unethical acts of Mr. Fox and Gekko continue as they use off-shore accounts to hind their unethical practices and continue to pursue more insider trading ventures. Mr. Fox starts climbing the corporate ladder and stepping on all of his friends and family along the way. He pulls a college buddy of his into the mix of illegal actions telling him that it is a one time thing and that no one will get caught. Mr. Fox goes as far as going undercover in the disguise of a janitor in order to gain information from companies.

    The notion of greed continues to engulf the brokers and overshadows Mr. Fox’s judgment. Mr. Gekko has Mr. Fox become power of attorney for him and has him sign papers saying that he is solely responsible for the transaction of the funds in the Cayman Islands. Mr. Fox’s father tries to tell him that Gekko is just using him and creating some sort of “3 Point Plan” that by no means is going to save the company. Gekko is in it entirely for the greed! Things start to unravel as we see what happens when those in power take unethical steps to get where they are. Mr. Fox’s college buddy calls him, saying that the SEC has been trying to contact him about funds in off-shore accounts, looking for red flags on illegal activity.

    The final straw is when Gekko takes advantage of Mr. Fox, once again, with the deal of taking care of the liquidation of BlueStar. Mr. Fox is furious as he knows that his father and his friends are going to lose their jobs. Mr. Gekko makes sure that things are done around Mr. Fox, so that he does not know all the particulars of the deal. The deal is seemingly going to take down the company when Mr. Fox has finally seen what he has become! After visiting his father in the hospital, Mr. Fox puts his plan into action to save the company, his father’s job, and take down Mr. Gekko.

    In the end Mr. Fox’s plan helps to save his father’s company, but he is still faced with the crimes that he has committed. The SEC and various other organizations come to his office and arrest him for insider trading, as tears well up in his eyes you can’t help but ask yourself why anyone would take part in illegal trading acts? In the end, this film showcases the ideas of financial markets and insider trading and leaves the audience wondering what repercussions he will have to deal with as he walks up the steps to face his day in court.

  22. Wall Street is a good movie; it is the story of one who is struggling to decide which of the two he is: greedy or ethical. It shows some observations about financial markets in 80’s. 80’s American life was in a dog eat dog society fueled by greed and materialistic. When Bud asked “how much is enough” , Gordon Gekko answered It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another.

    In the financial field, people seems to be more greed than people in other industries. I think the most important question raised by this movie is this – how far are you willing to go to earn success? The movie shows Gekko and Fox coming out in different directions. Gordon Gekko said greed is good. Is greed really good? And if greed is good, how good is it? If your answer is in the affirmative, then the question would become, “is greed a good enough value to outweigh the value at the other side?” I like the GREED speech, it is impressive.

  23. This movie is very interesting to watch given the current financial crisis on Wall Street and downturn in the hosing and financial market across the country. Bud Fox, a young and ambitious stockbroker, is always dreamed to be a big stock player like Gordon Gekko. He tries very hard to get close to Gekko so that he could show off his talent and skills to him in order to stay and work for him. Provided some inside information to Gekko about Bluestar airlines, Gekko starts to recognize this young man’s potential and teach him stock trading strategies. However, soon enough Gekko’s greedy and cold essential is revealed. At that time, Fox is so addictive to Gekko and thinking the aggressive way of making money as more challenging and exciting. Knowing Gekko is asking him to provide inside information, Fox still follows and does what Gekko tells him to do. Only when Gekko demands Fox to undermine his father representing the union of the airline and asks him to break laws continuously, Fox starts to realize he cannot go on with Gekko anymore.

    Considering the financial crisis in the United States today, this movie’s message seems to apply still. Upper level people are sometimes too greedy in terms of making money and sustaining top placement that lead them to break laws and regulations of the game. The primary goal for a person like Gekko is to grasp any opportunity to make money regardless of whether the method is appropriate. Doing all these inside information tricks and transactions could generate profit for them, yet someone in the end has to pay it all off. The entire financial market may be undermined and even crushed as a result of that. A stockbroker or financial analyst needs to be aggressive and ambitious just as Gekko and Fox, but one must also obey the fundamental rules in the market and maintain a healthy and prosperous financial environment to the benefit of all.

  24. Rory Quiller

    Financial markets are a unique thing. In essence, it is an entire world of making money out of money. A doctor provides a health service, a farmer provides food, an actor provides entertainment, but in a financial market this service provided is more hidden to the untrained eye. This film explores this concept of a job based on the all mighty dollar. So how can one succeed in an industry that revolves around money without the desire to have it, and to want more of it. Certainly no one holds a farmer at fault for wanting to create more food, or a doctor for wanting to provide more health care. In fact it is viewed as a good thing to become enveloped by your occupation. Yet the industry of Wall Street is less understood and more ruthless in the eyes of the public. So is greed good for someone in this line of business. Certainly Gekko things so. This film shows how this ruthless business can eat up someone like Fox who is not as capable of grasping the idea of making money off of the “buying and selling of others” and not actually “creating something of his own.” I argue however, even though this film paints a grim picture of financial markets, it is filled with insider trading and back stabbing. This is a very cynical view of the financial markets that feed national and global business. the point is that any industry can seem like a monster in the wrong hands, and certainly Gordon Gekko’s hands are about as wrong as then come.

  25. This movie offered a lot of insight into the financial world of the mid 1980s. It explored the everyday life of the “fresh out of college” broker and the greedy, money grubbing investment banker.

    What I found most interesting is how the movie portrayed insider trading as a small feat. I don’t much about the financial markets as I am a Marketing major nor am I familiar with the regulation behind trading but it seemed all too easy to cheat the system. Though, Bud did eventually get busted.

    I also enjoyed the way the movie illustrated greed as a sort of lifestyle. It consumed Gekko and began to take control of Bud after he met many affluent people and began rolling in the big bucks. It’s almost a shame to think that back then and perhaps today many investment banks make money off of other’s misfortune (i.e. wanting to split up and sell off BlueStar’s assets).

    I also enjoyed their portrayal of the average broker on Wall St., in essence, a stressed out and overworked person. This movie makes me happy that I chose not to be a Finance major, especially in these horrific financial times. I don’t think any amount of money would ever make me want to lead that life.

  26. Zachary Unger

    Wall Street aptly shows what desire for the quick buck, and greed can do to a good man. I honestly believe that this film is an important one for students to watch, as it seems far to easy these days to rationalize illegal actions such as insider trading and the likes. This should hit home especially well with Binghamton students who remember that just a few years ago, one of our ranks was given a significant jail sentence for his role in an insider trading ring. This film also effectively shows us the need to realize that we must be perpetually vigilant about whose best interests we are actually working for.

    In general this whole idea of quick money, and having no accountability for ones actions, and being able to rationalize insider trading, offshore accounts, and destroying companies reminds me of an old adage: If it seems too good to be true…It probably is. Plain and simple: There is no such thing as free money, or untold riches without consequences and accountability.

    The last important point I’d like to touch on is the fact that bosses are not untouchable nor infallible. I think it is important that we take note of how Bud Fox acts at the beginning of the film when he blindly assumes Gordon Gecko is looking out for his best interests and in operating fairly and legally. We should all realize that in these times simply saying “my boss told me to” does not absolve us, and we must be thinking about our own actions as well as the actions of other individuals in the company, and the company as a whole.

    Finally I second Mr. Balice’s notion that a million dollars (in 1985 USD’s) penthouse apartment is not worth living the type of life shown here, nor the impending jail time associated with such dubious activities.

  27. This movie fictionalizes an interesting time on Wall Street. Having read “Liar’s Poker” by Michael Lewis, I was already aware of the excesses that emerged on Wall Street in the 1980s. Gekko is like the BSD Lewis outlines, only in contrast to the rowdy mortgage traders headed by Ranieri, he has sophisticated tastes. Others have commented on the change that takes place in Bud; it shows what a high pressure environment and win-at-all-costs attitude can do to a man. He redeemed himself in the end, though, by selling Gekko out to his rival and wearing a wire to implicate him. It was also funny to see Bud succumb to the baller lifestyle that is charicatured so well on leveragedsellout.com – blonde model, penthouse apartment, and expensive tastes.

  28. The movie is interesting. First, it somehow reflects the true daily life of the Wall Street(twenty years ago but I think much is still the same). After having more background information about financial market, I am involved more in the movie instead of just watching the story.
    Second, Ethics is something intangible. In the environment that everyone is the same greedy, it is easy to lose the ethics, the value that you think you always hold. Instead, the kind of “zero-sum game”, ”greedy is good to make people upward ” saying is a way to rationalize what you do so that you can earn money with sharp practice.

    Third, it is interesting to think if this purchase is not relevant to Bud’s father; would Bud sense that and finally fight for Gordon Gecko? Somehow I think it is because the serious interest conflict that makes him awake. In fact, in satisfying his ambition he only cares about money he earns and the price he buys and sells. He cares nothing about managing companies until face of the Bluestar. Finally, I think there is always “grey zone” that makes legal and illegal not clear. We always have to think the true value before every decision making.

  29. Venkata S Mudunuru

    This is a great film on stock markets and Wall Street scenario in 1980s. The scenario is very much similar as portrayed in the book I am reading, Den of Thieves. However, in this movie the easy prey for the greed is Bud Fox, a young stockbroker who has dreams of being bigger and wealthier by earning fast bucks. He’s given a bridge to his dream when he makes his way into Gordon Gekko’s offices, as Gekko is one of the most powerful investment banker around. But Gekko has no top floor for satisfaction and the elevator just keeps going. We see him as a manipulator barking orders to buy, sell and run his competitors into the ground or delivering declamatory speeches on how greed is what makes America great.

    On the other hand, Bud Fox is shown as an up-and-coming broker who is very impatient and sees many things as a waste of time. Stuck in an office where he sees the top producer a burned out shell, Bud longs for bigger and better things. He incessantly calls high roller Gekko who won’t give him the time of day. Finally he wins Gekko’s confidence with a bit of inside information. Then Gekko encourages Bud to get more information and entices him with various “perks”. He does things for Gekko, and begins to accept it all as “part of the business”.

    While Gekko is having a huge influence on him, there are two good influences in his life trying to steer him back to the right side of the law. His father, Carl Fox and a co-worker, Lou Mannheim. Both of them are philosophers of sorts and provide Fox with pearls of wisdom. The moment when Fox realizes what Gekko is really all about is very powerful and you can feel his disappointment in the person he looked up to the most. Fox’s decline is just a rapid as his rise. He loses the girl, his fancy apartment and ends up arrested but not before he saves his fathers airline and sets up Gekko for his downfall.

    This is another movie that reflects the perils of insider trading and such manipulations with greed to earn quick bucks.

  30. John Efinger

    To me, one very interesting aspect of this movie it the depiction of speculation, and in turn the movement of the financial markets. Although the movie takes place in 1985, the comparison to today seems clear, that knowing enough people, having enough money to invest does in fact create the ability to sway what is defined as a fair market price for a share of a stock.

    Apart from actions that fall under the definition of insider trading, the simple example of how volatile a stock price can be based on fact in some cases, and based on soft analysis in other cases seems apparent on a daily basis, especially due to current world market conditions. Instances such as Berkshire Hathaway investing in Goldman Sachs leading to an inevitable bump, however temporary, in stock price appear to be just one reminder of this. As many have touched on, this notion of a “quick buck” becomes an increasingly attractive one.

    This notion, juxtaposed with the consistent reminder throughout the movie to “stick with fundamentals” seemed unique, as so much of the current financial news seems to be carrying out what most people would have called impossible a year ago.

  31. Scott Buckley

    The movie Wall Street depicted the other side of the financial markets. After Bud Fox explained to Gordon Gekko that hard work was the way to success, Gordon said”If you are not inside, you are outside.” This meant the only way to make money and separate yourself from everyone else was to use inside information.

    The movie shows how valuable information actually is and how it can influence the price of a stock. All Bud had to do was spread the word to other brokers about a stock then they moved client money into it. This caused prices to fluctuate only because of trading volume and nothing else. No value was actually created, money just changed hands.

    I think Lou Manheim, one of Bud’s older co-workers saw what was happening from the start. He has seen many things in his experience and tried to help Bud figure out he was on a slippery slope. Between the efforts of Lou and Bud’s father, it’s sad that it took the act of Gordon betraying Bud for Bud to realize he was at fault and change his ways.

  32. Keatan Fisher

    Wall Street demonstrates how people used inside information of the financial market to “get rich quick.” The movie basically portrays how a hard-working broker, Bud Fox, becomes corrupted by greed as he begins to engage in inside trading with the powerful, Garden Gekko. Bud, reluctant at first because of the inherent risks associated with getting caught for inside trading, ends up roping in other people such as his old college friend Roger into his schemes. It shows how Bud becomes obsessed with his work, becoming snappy with his co-workers (yelling at Marvin) and even ruining his relationship with his father. This movie parallels the book “Den of Thieves.” One of the many examples of parallelism between the two is shown at the end of the movie when Bud (in attempt to sabotage Gekko for back-stabbing him) manipulates the stock price of Bluestar Airlines, by bidding it up and then making it plummet, forcing Gekko out of his position. I liked the ending where it told how Bud gave back all the money and came clean to take responsibility for his actions. I think the biggest take-away point from the movie is expressed by Bud’s co-worker/boss when he tells Bud “the main thing about money is that it makes you do things that you don’t want to do.”

  33. Rachael Schwartz

    I started watching Wall Street on the day that the stock market dropped 800 points and finished watching the movie on a day where the market gained 485 points. I have never been much of a fan of Wall Street and the stock market, and I have to say that this film made me hate it even more. It bothers me how corrupt the system can be on so many levels. How a single mans interest in a company, a rivalry, and the word “sure thing” can cause the value of a stock to soar. The entire system is based on speculation, and I am not a fan of a system based on something so trivial in many cases. Another thing about the film that upset me is the corruption a Bud, a seemingly kind and uncorrupt man. He utilized a single bit of insider information, which placed him under the grips or Gordon Gekko. Bud had become Gekko’s puppet, doing everything he says, and catering to Gekko’s account as if it was his own child. Bud slowly becomes more and more corrupt, getting old friends to join him and using anyone he can get his hands on. Bud goes from being a good man to a man that will lie, cheat, and steal his way to greatness. However all the power and money can only lead to bad things, and of course in the end it does. Bud gets money and women fast from Gekko, but things that materialize so quickly can be gone in the blink of an eye.

  34. Dipankar Rai

    Bud Fox a Wall Street stockbroker works for his firm during the day and spends his spare time working an on how to approach the high-powered broker Gordon Gekko . Fox finally meets with Gekko, who takes the youth under his wing and explains his philosophy that “Greed is Good”. Taking the advice and working closely with Gekko, Fox soon finds himself in shady business deals and living the “good life”, fast money, and fast women.
    Bud Fox is an ambitious stock trader who will do just about anything to get into the big leagues. Gekko manipulates the market using inside information and his motto best describes his approach: greed is good. He takes advantage of Bud’s burning desire to succeed. Soon, Bud finds himself getting information from any source and using to gain an advantage. However when Gekko wants to overtake Blue Airlines, then company which Bud’s father works on Bud and Gekko go head to head. Gekko just wants to buy Blue Airlines and profit from it by selling it off. Bud uses his contacts in wallstreet to boost the price of stock of Blue Airlines. Then he encourages everyone to sell it off to leave Gekko with a worthless stock.
    Wall Street shows just what can happen when greed enters the picture. Good men can go bad when money is all that matters.

  35. Wall Street is an intriguing movie. It shows us how money and greed can render ethics unimportant. In the movie Geeko was a man who could do anything to gain money and power; he was not bothered of whether his means were ethical, all that mattered to him was the end. On the other hand Bud Fox was ambitious and young who wanted power, money and challenges in his life. He at least in the end realized that money is not everything. The means to achieve the end does matter. So in the end when he was jailed was right but at least he tried to clear his conscience by cheating on Geeko. Overall a nice movie to learn how the stock market works and how insider trading can get you money but in the end one lands up being a prisoner.

  36. What would have been an average movie become something more given the current financial crisis. Wall Street gave an inside view of the corrupt and ruthless side of the stock market. Gekko provides insights into the insider market, proclaiming that those with insider information are the only ones actually trading. Everyone else is just throwing darts at a wall and hoping to get lucky.

    While I’m not a finance major (and never want to work in finance), I think everyone can walk away with something from this movie. Most importantly, we have to realize that no matter how many people play the stock market legally, some don’t – and those that play unethically have disproportionate power. People who want to use the stock market for their retirement or use the returns as a living wage, be aware you’re not playing on an equal playing field. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t invest. It just means you need to be aware of the Gekkos out there in the world.

  37. I actually do NOT think Wall Street is “corrupt and greedy.” That is entirely attributable to human nature; it is incredibly foolish to berate an institution built upon the very laws that govern human behavior. Finance is fascinating; it has the power to make or break lives in a matter of seconds.

    Gordon Gekko knew that knowledge was power. And if you’ve got power, why not wield it? If you can take on a protege with less intelligence, enter Bud Fox, and mold him into someone who can achieve his highest potential (and make millions doing it), by all means, take your chances. But be ready for a fall.

    The 1980s saw a great deal of buy-outs and liquidations of seemingly healthy companies. Gekko was simply riding on the coattails of that movement. He made sure to protect himself legally. If you are smart enough to know how to manipulate the system and profit from it, while simultaneously being aware of and protecting yourself against any legal repercussions, you deserve your money and your freedom. The less intelligent would have us believe that someone like Gekko should be fined and imprisoned. I believe that sentiment arises from another aspect of human nature: jealousy. Certainly those who find themselves incapable of that kind of intelligence know that they could never profit the way Gekko did, and thus, belittle the character and actions of the more intellectually gifted.

    And yes, in the end, Gekko loses millions and misses out on a company buy-out and liquidation. Boo-hoo; there will be one less G5 in his hangar. Even with his high-strung morals, Fox still gets arrested. What’s better: (1) A slap on the wrist from the SEC and walking out with no money; or (2) A slap on the wrist from the SEC and walking out with millions? Wall Street and “Wall Street” are about risk. If you play with giants, there’s a chance you’ll be crushed by giants. No one in finance ever pretends that this is not the case.

  38. 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.

  39. Sonal Sawant

    The movie `Wall Street’ is about a bright young Wall Street broker Mr. Bud Fox who manages to step into his dream career of investment banking. But in the game he loses his soul and sight and gets into unethical dealings for Mr. Gekko the big investment banker.

    Am personally not very well versed with Finance ( as am a Marketing major). But in all it seems that the movie is trying to portray that how even a person such as Bud a smart young talented employer a Wall Street broker took chances in lure of money. Talking specifically in terms of the financial market I feel the movie depicts the gizmo of a Wall Street ambience, the building pressure in dealings, number, stocks, and the insider trading. But what this movie further tries to portray is how `greed’ and `money’ plays on the character of Mr Bud Fox and how he overshadows his values and ethics. He shares insider information about Bluestar Airlines with Mr Gekko, which I feel is the turning point where Gekko sees Bud as a route for prosperity.

    I would say that there is a pretty simple, typical storyline to the movie which characterizes a typical drama of emotions, greed, morale etc. But the point that I feel that even though Bud cheated and was unethical in his dealings I also strongly feel that he cheated on Gekko too. Gordon Gekko is a strong character. He’s ruthless, ironic and, under the circumstances, completely practical. Gekko buys up companies for peanuts and liquidates them for big bucks. ”I create nothing,” he says with his usual candor. ”I own.” He plays the role of a bad guy here and he has always been this way. But for me Mr Bud seems to be the weaker guy who just swayed in and out of his life nothing so concrete and intelligent about him and maybe not a fit for the Wall Street. Otherwise he wouldn’t looked for unethical options.

  40. William Haller

    Wall Street demonstrates several good points about the financial markets. First, I see that a great deal has changed since the actual production of the movie. Second, you see a great example of ethics playing out in these markets. Obviously we are exposed to unethical actions and decisions, but is interesting to see just how complex and behind the scenes it all is. With unethical marketing behavior, it is easier for people to see that a given ad may be unethical (ie Joe Camel). Yet in a financial market, there is so much intricacy, interrelationship between every small decision, and so much information asymmetry, it is much more difficult to monitor unethical insider trading. Yet as we have seen today, unethical practices eventually lead to collapse and destruction, and hopefully rules become more and more stringent to protect society from such. The more our system learns to honor righteous decisions and punish financially unethical ones, the smoother the market will run (I hope!)

  41. Philip Pellegrino

    The movie Wall Street is a good demonstration of the fundamental functions (or what some would call dysfunction) of our market. The movie showed that both greed and unethical behavior will only lead to bad things. Charlie Sheen’s greed clouded his judgment and caused him to unintentionally lie to his father and betray his trust. He thought he was invincible, and by the time he realized what he was doing was wrong, it was too late.
    Apparently everyone has not seen this movie. Greed and unethical behavior still run rampant in our economy. Enron and World Com are good examples of what happens when unethical behavior catches up with you. The current down turn in the economy can be attributed to greed. Everyone was too greedy, and now it has caught up to all of us at the same time.
    The movie also addresses another important concept of our market, and that is the value of information. Information is what makes or breaks stocks. If one party has more information than another it has a clear and sizable advantage. Insider trading is very difficult to police, especially if it is done on a small scale. However, when the scale is as large as it was towards the end of the movie with the BST stock, it can and must be regulated. Our system needs ethics and morals to run correctly.

  42. Peter Sucher

    Wall Street is a movie which exposes some of the truths about our present day economy and to some extent how we wound up in this crisis. This movie is a cautionary tale about how corruption, greed, and power can infiltrate a person’s life if they aren’t careful; especially in a high stakes environment like Wall Street. Dealing with concepts like insider trading and market manipulation, the film really shines a light on the world of stocks and bonds as well as the money hungry American’s willing to do anything for a piece of the loot.

    One of the main points that I took away from this movie is how ethics and business intermingle. Sure, Wall Street does provide the means for corrupt business men and women to make a huge profit if they are willing to sacrifice their morals, but this is not the only choice. For every Gordon Gekko that is out there, there is someone working diligently and positively towards their Wall Street goals. Overall this film was an excellent depiction of a time and a place we are all very familiar with; hopefully we can bring the lessons from this movie into our future business practices.

  43. After reading through some of the post I notice that people are criticizing the stock market and as a place of greed and corruption. I would like to point out that those same people that were practicing insider trading in the 80s are not ‘living it up’ today. Take a look at one of the largest insiders of the game.


    Reading about Ivan Boesky in Den of Thieves I found a striking similarities with Gordon Gekko. Looking at recent ‘Gekkos’ of the day with CEOs of Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco they probably have received the largest punishment than anyone before. For example, Bernard Ebbers former CEO of WorldCom will be in prison until 2028!

    The lesson here is that if you are doing something illegal you will be caught, and you can bet that heads will roll for the events taking place right now. Look for yourself:


  44. Anyone taking Prof. Lasser’s Investments class recognizes this quite clearly: the only sure way of getting excessive returns is to be an insider. In Wall Street, Bud Fox comes to this realization the hard way once he leaves his desk from making cold calls and meets his hero, Garden Gekko, only to find out that his entire wealth is based on insider trading and stock manipulation.

    The lesson learned from the movie is that it’s usually ambitious but naive analysts like Bud Fox who take the hit for the manipulation of financial markets, while the big fish usually get away. What inside traders do to make the returns they do is not difficult at all. Once you have private information, either through your father’s union or corporate spying, you can easily turn that into profits.

    Where in Bud’s father’s case, it’s old-fashioned hardwork that bring prosperity, in the financial markets, it can often be how well you avoid investigators that make you wealthier than your counterparts.

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