Farrell: Wall Street & Cannes
If I had a "bucket list" to put together I would have the beaches at Normandy as number one. Greece and Turkey would be on the list as well.
Never would I have thought of walking down the Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival (Or is it walking up the Red Carpet?).
However could that happen?
But it did; on the Red Carpet for the premier of Wall Street Two, Money Never Sleeps.
That's where we were last week, thanks to son Vin, our "adopted son" Eric Kopoloff, one of the producers, Celia Costas and Ed Pressman, producers who together brought you the first Wall Street.
I have a scene in the film and I am exaggerating when I say it lasts three seconds.
1.7 seconds is a bit more accurate.
But it is a scene and I have a line.
Just don't blink at the wrong time.
I also wound up as a technical advisor to the film.
That was more fun than I can describe.
Director Oliver Stone used every one of my suggestions and we became pals.
At least I'd like to think we did.
Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Frank Langella, and John Buffalo Mailer, the stars of the film, kept wondering who the hell I was, but they put up with my requests for pictures with each of them at the after-party.
My wife and I had the time of our lives.
No vacation is ever as cheap as you plan on it being so I kept going to the local ATM in Cannes.
I was not happy with the frequency of the trips but I was happy with the exchange rate.
The dollar felt a bit like the almighty dollar again as the euro kept sinking.
I bet the euro continues to sink (one to one is in the future) as the mess they dreamed up gets played out the next few months and years.
Throwing money at a problem can be like throwing alcohol/drugs at a substance abuser.
The alcoholic has to want to change. An intervention by the family rarely works.
And this isn't family operating in the Eurozone.
A monetary union can't survive (my opinion) without a political union and I don't see that happening. They are Frenchmen, Germans, and Greeks before they are Europeans. Even a trillion dollars won't change that. Nation states will not change their identity.
The national will trump the European.
Under cover of the euro and without regard to individual nuances, countries moved up the lifestyle scale and binged on borrowings. I hope you all will see Wall Street Two and one of Michael Douglas' lines: "Debt on steroids" rings true here. In the end, it was the international debt markets that pulled the cover back and exposed the tragedy that is the financial picture of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. And those countries may not understand the importance of a vibrant private sector being needed to support a semi-welfare state. So the solution being applied is likely to crimp growth. Crimp? Sorry -- it is likely to trash whatever growth prospects may have existed.
The danger is action may have been delayed too long. Sharp doses of austerity taken at a late date will likely worsen the situation and could well put the Eurozone back into recession. Restructuring the debt of the profligate nations is required. But the powers that be worry about the impact that would have on the banks that hold the debt. Nevertheless, that is what is needed. I wouldn't be surprised if, at the end of the day, countries don't drop out of the Eurozone, revert to their old currency, and then devalue.
In the meantime, go to Europe and enjoy the dollar versus the euro. There is enough wrong in our financial picture to give you a headache, so call the dollar the best house in a bad neighborhood. The euro will continue to fall, the dollar will be strong, don't sell your gold. And see Wall Street Two when it comes out in the early fall. It is one terrific movie.
Oliver, Michael and I think so.