M & A Law Prof Blog

Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Culture: Wall Street

Today's friday culture choice is the film Wall Street.  Wall Street is Oliver Stone's comment on the 1980s, sometimes affectionately known among deal-types as the decade of greed.  It tells the story of young stockbroker Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen) who is seduced into an insider trading scheme by corporate raider Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas).  But the story is mere back-drop to the wider landscape of the eighties takeover scene.  Thus, you have Gekko (modeled on the real-life Ivan Boesky) doing battle for Bluestar Airlines with Sir Larry Wildman (believed to be modeled on the real-life Sir Gordon White of Hanson PLC).  And you have Gordon Gekko repeating the now famous line justifying his break-up of Teldar Paper:

The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right; greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.

The movie is pure fun and likely to bring some recognition as you watch the characters lunch at 21 and use out-of-place Wall Street terminology.  It is also sure to bring a bit of nostalgia as when Gekko extols the technological wonder of his portable phone. 


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