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TheBlueCat

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

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I saw this last night and thought it was good enough to write up some comments.

The first thing to note is that the finance parts of the film are either accurate or vague enough not to be obviously wrong. I believe, but I may be wrong about this, that Allan Loeb, the script writer, used to work in finance - any relative of Daniel Loeb I wonder? There were a few out of date cliches - such as trading floors with people making lots of noise - but, overwhelmingly, the film had the right look and feel. I've worked in finance for the last 15 years and the general atmosphere, appearance of sets & people, language and topics all felt very familiar although obviously exagerated for dramatic effect. So full marks for authenticity.

The plot, without revealing anything important, centres around what happens after Gordon Gekko is released from jail after ten years served for market manipulation, tax fraud and other things. Needless to say he considers this length of sentence excessive but it does seem to have changed him in many ways. He starts out doing a Nick Leeson and hitting the lecture circuit. More importantly, he predicts the sub-prime crisis and correctly identifies the root causes of lending to people who can't pay back the loans and the subsequent packaging into complex derivatives. It's great to be able to write such stuff with 20-20 hindsight of course.

There are lots of references to real people and events to look out for. The guy playing the Treasury Secretary is quite clearly meant to be Hank Paulson for example. In fact, there's a strong anti-Goldman Sachs theme going on although it's oblique enough for it not to be actionable. Look out for the slightly altered, but still recoginsable, Rolling Stone vampire squid story in the backdrop to one of the scenes as an example. Also there are several good cameo appearances to watch out for: Nouriel Roubini, Warren Buffet, Charlie Sheen, Jim Cramer and others pop up adding a lot to the overall effect.

For anyone that's spent the last few years following the news of the credit crisis or who's worked in finance, I'd say it's a must see. For people less interested, maybe not as, although the plot and acting are sound, they're not startlingly original or brilliantly done on the whole.

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The review I read said Gekko has matured and become good. But he still taps in to the $100m he stashed in Switzerland before getting caught.

My brother saw this a while back in a private screening his bank conjured up. Haven't asked him what he thought, but he did have a good laugh at the daft trading scenes in the Nick Leeson film.

How sad that Michael Douglas has throat cancer. He blames it on booze and tobacco.

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The review I read said Gekko has matured and become good. But he still taps in to the $100m he stashed in Switzerland before getting caught.

Without wanting to reveal the actual plot, it's not as simple as that...

How sad that Michael Douglas has throat cancer. He blames it on booze and tobacco.

Yes, sad indeed - great actor.

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And one amusing continuity thing I noticed: the main action was shot on the trading floor of Royal Bank of Canada's New York offices which are downtown at the World Financial Centre but, out of the window of a side office, they show shots of the 'Lipstick Building' that Bernie Madoff operated out of which is a couple of miles away at 3rd and 53rd.

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Without wanting to reveal the actual plot, it's not as simple as that...

Your efforts to avoid plot spoilers are appreciated.

I've never seen the original Wall Street, can you believe that?

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Your efforts to avoid plot spoilers are appreciated.

I've never seen the original Wall Street, can you believe that?

Just watched the original last night. Barely any difference to today, save the old computers, no mobile phones and no email.

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no mobile phones

There's a funny reference to that in the new film. You're pretty much right though, nothing much has changed from then to now - which is, I suspect, part of what Oliver Stone is trying to point out.

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  • 152 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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