Monday, March 28, 2011

Movie Monologue #6

Up for argument is whether sequels are better than their originals. This one pretty much stands as prime example of how you can desecrate the sanctity of an original masterpiece, and what desperation for corporate profits in movie making give birth to. Nevertheless, there were finer moments (not hard to) that require an approving nod. One such was Gordie's plug for his book in a lecture hall. That's how you sell your goddamn book! What a salesman!

Wallstreet II : Money Never Sleeps
Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas)

Gekko : "You’re all pretty much fucked. You don’t know it yet. But, you are the NINJA generation. No Income, No Job, No Assets. You got a lot to live for too.

Someone reminded me the other evening that I once said greed is good. Now it seems its legal. But folks, its greed that makes my bartender buy three houses he can’t afford with no money down. And it's greed that makes your parents refinance their two hundred thousand dollar house for two fifty. Then they take that extra fifty and go down to the mall. They buy a plasma TV, cell phones, computers, a SUV, hey why not a second home while we are it, cause gee whiz we all know the prices of houses in America always go up, right? And its greed that makes the government of this country cut interest rates down to one percent after 9/11 so we can all go shopping again. And they got all these fancy names for trillions of dollars of credits, CMOs, CDOs, SIVs, ABS . You know I honestly think that there’s maybe only seventy five people in the world who know what they are. But I’ll tell you what they are - WMDs, weapons of mass destruction! That’s what they are.

When I was away, it seems greed got greedier with a little bit of envy mixed in. Hedge funders were walking home with fifty, hundred million bucks a year. So Mister Banker, he looks around and says my life looks pretty boring. So he starts leveraging his interests up to forty, fifty to one, with your money, not his, yours, because he could. You’re supposed to be borrowing not them. And the beauty of the deal, no one is responsible. Because everyone is drinking the same Kool-aid. Last year ladies and gentlemen, forty percent of all American corporate profits came from financial services. 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, we’re moving the money around in circles. We take a buck, we shoot it full of steroids. We call it leverage. I call it steroid banking.

Now I’ve been considered a pretty smart guy when it comes to finance and maybe I was in prison too long. But sometimes it’s the only place to stay sane and look out through those bars and say “Hey, is everybody out there nuts?” Its clear as a bell to those who pay attention, the mother of all evil is speculation, leveraged debt. The bottom line is borrowing to the hilt. And I hate to tell you this, it’s a bankrupt business model. It won’t work. Its systemic, malignant, and its global, like cancer. It’s a disease and we got to fight back.

How are we going to do that? How are we going to leverage that disease back in our favor? Well I’ll tell you. Three words, “Buy my book!” Prices and profits work."

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