The Moral of the Movie!

 Currencies clash in new age of beggar-my-neighbour – screamed the headlines.

Which reminds me of the Wall Street ll movie:

Cross ref

Money Never Sleeps

Greed is good, now greed seems  legal, so said Gordon Gekko in the movie : Wall Street 2- Money Never Sleeps.

Gordon Gekko was jailed for insider trading , for destroying companies and  people, in the first movie : Wall Street, an Oliver Stone movie.

In the sequel to the first movie, Gordon Gekko  was released from prision.

To Jake: It is about doing the right thing.

To Gordon:  it is the game.  It is easy to get in, hard to get out.

In the original, financial markets were portrayed with a certain duality. There were characters and scenes worth admiring, but there were also numerous vilifications of the business world, making it a legend among financial students.

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps attempts to emulate the same duality, but  it fails. The lead character, Jake Moore, works for a major investment bank about to collapse, a Lehman Brothers analogy. He secretly falls under the influence of his girlfriend’s estranged father, Gordon Gekko, who has reinvented himself as a financial author. Gekko predicts the imminent market crash and blames complex derivatives with too much leverage. Guess what he’s investing in – gold and silver. All these happening in the present global markets!

The movie grasps at free-market ideas, but it still gravitates toward the comfortable and usual propaganda.

To Jake: if there is no risk taking, where will the world be?

In the original Wall Street, Oliver Stone managed to meld conflicting ideas about the market. But in the sequel, the ideological view is a garbled mix of ideas.

The movie has plenty of toxic parts, presenting  the financial world as a non-productive sector of the economy. Capital markets allocate resources necessary to fund innovative projects that change the economy. Yet the movie is  constantly  demonizing capital markets and praising Jake’s dream, a  show of contradictions.

Some pro-business scenes are worth discussing. First, Gordon Gekko delivers a new version of his “Greed is good” speech. But this time, he elaborates on greed. The bartender who owns three homes represents greed. The leveraged second vacation home and the mall shopping spree are greed..

But hear this: The Federal Reserve’s 1% interest rates are greed.

The second notable scene takes place in a room full of bank CEOs planning the government bailout:  “We’re talking nationalization here. That’s socialism!  It’s what I’ve been fighting against my entire life!” Oliver Stone  chose the word “socialism” to describe the bailouts; socialism is the accurate definition of the bailouts – not capitalism.

Gekko later makes another strong indictment of the bailouts. He points out that his insider trading crimes were small time compared to this.

The last spectacular scene involved Jake Moore’s mother, a former nurse turned real estate investor. As the housing market turns sour, she begs Jake for $200,000 to keep her overleveraged investments in play. He gives her the money, but on a second request, he told her: “You can’t expect people to keep bailing you out. Go back to your old job.” And sure enough his mother went back to be   a nurse again.

The moral of the story:

Labor  with capital has been misallocated during the boom. We cannot keep bailing people out so that they can keep their real estate careers or jobs. When the  going gets tough, the tough gets going!

Every body is breathing the same cool air.

The anti-business lines are washed-up clichés, but the three scenes are  unique for Hollywood, making the movie worth watching, not to mention Michael Douglas the star.

Here is the trailer:

This movie reminds me of a Singapore production: Money no Enough, released in cinemas on 7 May 1998 in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.

Idkit aka Ana

Ag Moderator


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