Every December on Wall Street, there's an onslaught of emails sent out filled with predictions and prophecy of finance. The self-proclaimed experts try to dazzle you with a look into the future from their homemade crystal balls. They offer hope and promise for a new year and they reflect back to a prosperous and tranquil 2014.
During the second half of the year, traders, analysts and portfolio managers from all over Wall Street might as well have held a candle-light vigil in the financial district — to pray to the Fed. Can we survive the unwinding of quantitative easing? When will the rate hikes begin? The ceremony would have closed with the singing of the Michael Bolton classic "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?" to Janet Yellen:
Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
Now that I've been lovin' you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
How am I supposed to carry on
When all that I've been livin' for is gone...
(All participants in the vigil would receive a fleece jacket and gym bag.)
But with all of this late-year action — from falling oil prices and the market rally to …. Seriously, Seth Rogen and James Franco caused an international incident? — there are more questions that need answered and there's only one thing to do:
It's time to turn to some of the greatest Wall Street movie villains of all time, from the Duke brothers to Gordon Gekko, to find out what their predictions are for 2015.
The villain: Hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere). He's desperate to complete the sale of his trading business to a big bank before the fraud at the firm is exposed.
His 2015 predictions:
Everyone wants to talk about oil. They're looking at it all wrong. It's the dollar we should be playing. With the U.S. about to tighten like your Uncle Bobby's pants on Thanksgiving and the European Central Bank loosening like your drunken date on prom night — the dollar is taking off in 2015. Forty percent of earnings come from overseas. Who has exposure? There's a huge currency risk to earnings this coming year if they aren't hedge properly. Stay market neutral, there will be big winners and even bigger losers next year.
The villain: Greg Weinstein, senior broker at a small brokerage firm called J.T. Marlin (Nicky Katt). He's a chauvinist who puts money above all else and is just plain evil. He'll slice you up with insults.
His 2015 predictions:
You know how when you're sleeping with a chick and you tell her that you don't want anything serious—how it's just sex? And she gives you a line about being down with it. She's cool with just casual sex. And then a week later she's driving by your crib 17 times a day and a month after that she's breaking into your house in the middle of the night to watch you sleep. Yeah that's how 2015 will be. Investors say they're cool with the Fed raising rates, but when it happens, they'll disappear faster than the junior trainees when the bar bill comes.
The villains: The Duke brothers, Randolph and Mortimer (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche), who own a commodities brokerage firm. They're always bickering and their latest bet is about street hustler Billy Ray Valentine's (Eddie Murphy) job — and his life.
Their 2015 predictions:
Randolph: I favor shorting precious metals, particularly gold and silver.
Mortimer: Well I'd like to get long soybeans, corn and wheat as I suspect poor weather conditions will slam supplies.
Randolph: Who has time for these predictions when we can make our own magic happen?
Mortimer: Let's get Seth Rogen and James Franco to announce they're making a movie about two gold miners who cut back capital expenditures in a bid to save money in a lower price environment.
Randolph: That's a splendid idea.
The villain: Patrick Bateman, investment banker in mergers and acquisitions for Pierce & Pierce (Christian Bale). He indulges in a materialistic, hedonistic lifestyle … everything about status, image, superficiality. But there's a deep void inside of him. He's simply … not there.
His 2015 predictions:
Oil is going to $40. The pain trade is lower. And you know how much I love giving out pain. But I really don't care about oil. It's credit that I'm watching. When credit gets kinky, it's bad for everything. I'm not talking about a ball gag, candle wax and some name calling. I'm talking about the real thing … S&M and snuff films. Everyone borrows money for cap ex, financing through bonds and to look cooler to their friends. People should just stay on Facebook and Twitter and stop borrowing money. Because at some point in 2015 credit will be a problem and everyone will get sliced up.
The villain: Gordon Gekko, corporate raider (Michael Douglas). He takes young stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), under his wing and teaches him the hard and fast ways of Wall Street. He's the one who told us that "greed, for lack of a better word, is good."
His predictions for 2015:
Do you know the number one cause of death for clowns in this country? It's bulls. Any Wall Street joker with a curly wig and a red rubber nose can make money in a bull market. We've been in one for the last six years and clowns have multiplied faster that rabbits with Viagra. But this rodeo is over.
Next year is going to be a rock fight.
U.S. equities are the most attractive place to be right now with a positive outlook for sustained economic growth, corporate revenue and earnings growth. But then let me ask you this … Why do most men get divorced in their 50s? It's because the woman sitting next to them in the back of their Uber on the way to the gala is no longer hot. When the multiple expansions don't happen and those buybacks stop, investors will be looking to trade up and out. Volatility has a cocktail dress on right now … Go get her …
But you know what I love about the markets? Irony…
2015 is the year of the sheep under the Chinese zodiac. Gentle … Calm … like a pair of UGG boots waiting to be skinned alive.
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