Wall Street – the money never sleeps speech
I saw Wall Street 2 this weekend. Although the reviews were mediocre I liked it. One of the best scenes was when Gordon Gecko was giving a lecture to some students about greed. What he did in about three minutes was, this ex-Wall Street insider, described the cause of the financial crisis almost poetically. Why the economy is in a mess. It was a bit dramatic but it was one of the best explanations for the financial crisis in summary form.
Gordon Gecko shakes his head and says:
You are all pretty much screwed. You do not know it yet, but you are the ninja generation. No income, no job, no assets. You’ve got a lot to look forward to.
Someone reminded me the other day that I once said, greed is good. Well it appears greed is not only good, it is legal. We are all drinking the same cool-aid.
But it is greed that makes my bartender buy three houses, he cannot afford with no money down. And it is greed that makes your parents refinance their 200,000 dollar mortgage for 250,000 dollars. Now they take that extra 50,000 dollars and go to the shopping mall so they can buy a new plasma TV, cell phones, computers and an SUV. And hey, why not a second home while we are at it.
Gee Wiz, we all know the prices of houses in America always go up. Right?
It is greed that makes the government of this country cut the interest rates to 1% after 9/11 so we can all go shopping again.
They got all these fancy names for trillions of dollars for credit, CMO, CDO, SIV, ABS. You know I honestly think there are only 75 people in the world that knows what they are.
But I will tell you what they are, they are WMDs. Weapons of mass destruction.
When I was away, it seemed that greed, got greedier. With a little bit of envy mixed in.
Hedge fund managers came home with 50 to 100 million bucks a year.
So Mr. Banker, he looks around and says.
My life looks pretty boring.
So he starts leveraging his interest up to 40%, 50% to 100%. With your money not his.
Yours. Because he could.
You are supposed to be borrowing not them.
And the beauty of the deal is no one is responsible.
Because everyone is drinking the same cool-aid.
Last year ladies and gentlemen, 40% of all corporate profits came from the financial services industry.
Not production, not anything remotely to do with the needs of the American public.
The truth is we are all part of it now.
Banks, consumers they are moving the money around in circles.
We take a buck, we shoot it full of steroids and we call it leverage. I call it steroid banking.
Now I have been considered a pretty smart guy when it comes to finance.
Maybe I was in prison too long, but sometimes it is the only place to stay sane, looking out from the bars and say, hey is everyone out there nuts?
It is clear as a bell to those who pay attention. The mother of all evil is speculation. Leverage debt. The bottom line is, it is borrowing to the hilt.
And I hate to tell you this, but it is a bankrupt business model.
It will not work. It is septicemic, malignant and its global. Like cancer, it is a disease. And we got to fight back. How we going to do that?
How we are going to leverage that disease, back in our favor?
I will tell you, three words….
I did not have the script nor did I record this film. I did the best I could do from memory so maybe a few words are off but here it is. I recommend you see the film and do not listen to the reviews. It is pretty good if you like the stock market, trading, and economics. It is directed by Oliver Stone and stars Micheal Douglas and produced by 20th century Fox. I give full credit of course to the Wall Street the money never sleep quotes to these people. It is their intellectual capital. I am sure someday they will release the full script for Wall street the money never sleeps, but for now, you can just see the movie it is better than just reading about it.
Did the film portray Wall Street right? I use to work down there and if anything he was too kind. People are so lost in their lifestyles that they are out of touch with real life. It is good to strive and work and even earn money, but ‘what good is it if a man gains the world and loses his soul in the process’?
Stone is a very controversial director but in this case, I basically agree. The banks got free easy money from the Federal reserve and gave it to people who never should have gotten it. When the banks got in trouble, the government bailed them out. No one is responsible for such speculation and the tax payers must pay for the next 20 years.
Oh one more thing, just remember, money never sleeps.