Wall Street Self-Selection
The continued resonance of [Gordon] Gekko has “probably been the biggest surprise of my career, that people say that this seductive villain has motivated me to go into this business.”
–Michael Douglas, talking about his character, Gordon Gekko, in the 1987 film “Wall Street“; The NY Times (9/7/09)
“I can’t tell you how many young people have come up to me in these years and said, “I went to Wall Street because of that movie.”
–Oliver Stone, “Wall Street” director; The NY Times (9/7/09)
It’s startling to hear Douglas and Stone recount their startled reactions to the effect that their movie, “Wall Street,” had on a generation of Wall Streeters: it inspired them.
In fact, Michael Lewis, author of “Liar’s Poker,” another insider’s account of sordid Wall Street behavior, has reported the same phenomenon: instead of serving as objects of scorn and disgust, the villains in his book were embraced as heroes and role models.
And these are the people whose interests and morals are effectively steering U.S. financial policy??