Back in 1987, the movie “Wall Street” inspired a generation to enter the world of finance. But within that industry, attitudes toward the long-anticipated sequel are surprisingly subdued.
The main concern: that the new movie will be a platform for bank-bashing.
Already smarting from the anti-Wall Street rhetoricfromthe Obama Administration and hopeful that Republicans will gain control of Congress in the mid-term elections, some traders see “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” director Oliver Stone as a liberal mouthpiece and believe he’ll use the new film to embarrass their profession.
“A lot of traders think the movie is going to shed us in such a bad light that they’re not going to go (see the film),” says Alan Valdes, a longtime NYSE floor trader.
Another trader, based in Chicago, worries the movie, which opens today, will wind up “perpetuating the myth that Wall Street bankers caused the financial collapse and politicians cleaned up the mess.” (Apparently, the involvement of a slew of CNBC anchors in the film—including “The Strategy Session”
Nonetheless, with Michael Douglas reprising his role as the evil Gordon Gekko—the character who infamously coined the phrase “greed is good” in his tutelage of Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen)—many Wall Street workers are planning to see the film anyway.
In true industry fashion, some have even placed side bets on the number of times the word “greed” will be used in the sequel. Derivatives trader Jared Levy is betting that it will come up between 25 and 35 times. In his pool, which now has grown to over 40 traders, it’s winner-take-all.
Let the games begin.