The original screen play “Wall street” that was filmed back in 1987 very accurately reflects the atmosphere, culture and values that overwhelmed financial industry at that time. Something really interesting was happening on Wall Street if it caught attention of a famous film director and made him shoot a movie. Perhaps, twenty years before 1987, no one would even think of such an idea… yet, by the end of 80’s folks employed by Wall Street represented the brightest, the richest and most successful people of America. An increasingly high share of US GDP had been produced by financial sector and more and more people were willing to become part of this wealth creation machine.
The movie tells us about a typical “Wall Street shark” – Gordon Gekko. He is smart, rich and successful. At the same time he is greedy to and besotted with money and often resorts to illicit activities to get what he wants. For a young, talented and ambitions stock broker – Bud Fox, Gordon is an embodiment of all his dreams and one is trying hard to obtain Gekko’s inclination. Bud succeeds and very soon finds himself entirely involved into Gordon’s business. He gets all the trust from Gekko and gives his unprecedented loyalty in return. Together, they develop a plan to get control over “Bluestar” – an airline company where Bud’s father serves as a trust union chairman – and turn it around into successful and profitable corporation. However, Fox later investigates Gekko’s true plan: instead of helping “Blue star” to succeed, Gordon intends to liquidate the company, sell if off by pieces and make a lot of money for himself. Infuriated and disappointed, Bud saves “Blue Star” from Gordon by making a deal with Gekko’s sworn enemy and rival. Yet, Bud’s appearance in muddy deals catches authorities’ attention and he faces investigation. He cooperates and finally brings Gekko to justice.
The “Wall Street” movie suggests a true reflection of reality. It shows business of finance as it is – jungles where only the fittest survive. In a movie, as in business, there is no room for sentiments: no love, no friendship, no lunch – “lunch is for wimps” – .as Gordon says. “If you want to have a friend – get yourself a dog” or “… we are too smart to be bought by such feeling as love..” – these words reflect values of Gordon and his way of life. In finance, stakes are always high, but gains are enormous and so people are willing to make risky bets and sacrifice all for the sake of big money and prestige, frequently practicing fraudulent behavior.
In my opinion ethics suggested by the movie is two-folded: on one hand it promotes hard work, commitment and dedication to own work – “fight until the end and get a reward” approach which is a good thing. This is in fact the only way to succeed in business. I believe this is also an attitude we all must have to …
Posted by: Bret Dishner