Saturday, September 19, 2009


Warn the Street, the Beast Is Loose

This is awesome. EPJ tips us off to the opening scene of Wall Street 2, when Gordon Gekko is released from prison:

As I explained in the comments, I haven't been this excited for a movie since Star Wars Episode I. If Jar Jar Binks show up in this, I'm going to be really upset with Oliver Stone.

You're excited about a movie that will probably piss you off?
We'll have to see what happens in the movie. Short seller James Chanos is one adviser (a plus). The SEC is nervous and has its hound dogs looking for a copy of the script (another good sign).

But, then again, Oliver Stone is not Ron Paul, but he is not Michael Moore either.

I think it is a toss up how it comes out.
Anon, you can watch Wall Street and root for the "bad guys."*

* I actually haven't seen the movie in many years, so I don't know what I would think if I watched it with my mature economic / political views. I really like Michael Douglas though, and I love the idea of a moving picking up where he gets out of prison and (presumably) goes back to whittling away price discrepancies.
And we know the movie is merely fiction and not another Oliver Stone "history" because all of the Wall Streeters with be Republicans, instead of the Democrats most all of the Wall Street thieves actually are.

Does Hugo Chavez make an appearance?
A script is online if you want to read it. I don't know how real it is or if it is a fake, but it's here:

There's a plot twist in the end of this supposed script, which is pretty good. Overall, it struck me as kind of in the middle as far as stance on the market and crisis. Little snippets of things that were true (low interest rates, government regulations lowering lending standards, massive government debt is bad, moral hazard is bad) are interspersed with complete garbage (humans are base and evil, people are lemmings, the state of the market is determined by confidence, the lack of hedge fund regulation causes the crisis.) I know Stone is kind of socialist, so he might make the script more anti-market.

Unfortunately, the Fed is mentioned a few times but only in passing. The culture of Wall Street hedge firms and the decadence of bubbles and the super rich is all over the place (I think to invoke thoughts of jealously and hatred in the audience, but I could be wrong.) There is a little section on financial history via a Gekko monologue some of it covering historical bubbles, hyperinflation and debt. Gekko is mostly a supporting character, but figures HUGE in the plot. All in all, it seemed very much like the first film with a few changes here and there.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around it from an ethical perspective. In one sense, it is a kind of a one man's roundabout Monte Cristo revenge tale, in another, it is a crime.

Of course, the script I read could be a fake. I'm probably going to see this movie. I loved the first one-- probably for what Stone considers all the wrong reasons, but the movie is classic.
I can confirm that Jar Jar Binks is in the movie. He plays the role of the head of the internal audit unit of the Fed.
The script is gone. The entire link is not working. Any thoughts, anonymous?
The script is back. There's one addition I noticed, right at the end. Gekko is basically acting like the Warren Buffet of 2008 buying stocks in the down market, because in this movie reality, all markets are based on confidence. According to this movie, Gekko buying depressed stock means other people follow and the economy comes back. (Stupid, I know. But it's a movie.)

I'm still on the fence where some of this is ethically. Gekko does some horrible things (he was the good guy in the old movie, in my opinion) but in the context of this new movie plot it's kind of ambiguous to me. On one hand he commits fraud totally screws a bunch of people, but on another, he's just paying them back for what they did to him.

If they don't keep changing it, I still like this script. I wonder if it is real. If it's not, I tip my hat to the forger of this false script.
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