In the big city of New York there always exist those who push the envelope a bit, and stretch the law. One such man played by Michael Douglas makes money buying and selling others dreams. He is a stock speculator; but one that succeeds based on illegal inside information. As he puts it “I make nothing, I own” Released in 1987, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street is a representation of bad morals and poor business ethics in the business world. It also shows the negative effects, bad morals and poor business ethics can have on society. The film revolves around the actions of two main characters, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) and Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). Bud is a young stockbroker who comes from a working-class family and Gekko is a millionaire who Bud admires and wants to be associated with. Wall Street points out how wrong it is to exchange morality for money. Gordon Gekko reflects this message, and yet receives a standing ovation at a stockholders meeting after delivering his “greed is good” speech. The underlying theme of the movie is that greed is not only not ethical but it lacks moral substance in today’s society.
At the start of Wall Street, Bud Fox is young and insecure about the business world. Bud is a broker seeking new clients and offering second-hand advice regarding the buying and selling of stock. Bud makes a visit to Gekko’s office with a box of Cuban cigars on his birthday in hopes of winning him over as a client. He wants to sell him stocks, and hopefully one day be like he is. Bud is desperate to do business with Gekko and he passes on some inside information about the airline company that his father works for. Gekko saw this as an opportunity to gain money from inside information and took Bud under his wing. As the relationship between the two develops Bud becomes aware of the corruptness and ruthlessness of the industry in which he works. He learns that using inside information can raise or lower the price of stocks. The information can manipulate the stock holders to buy or sell the stock to your convince. In the movie Gekko had Bud to tell all the other brokers to sell a stock to lower the price so he could buy it all. Throughout the movie, he says such things as “if something’s worth doing it’s worth doing for money” and “greed captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” He has everything he could possible want. A wife, family, estate, pool, limousine, priceless art objects but he seems unhappy. Money to him is nothing; it is merely a way of keeping score to him–it is all a game. At a board meeting for a certain company, he concludes a speech by saying, “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works.” Although at times during the movie Gekko’s success can be applauded, in the end, it is shown that his greed has many subsequent negative effects on those people that surround him. He is accused during the same board meeting of being a “destroyer of companies” and responds by proclaiming that he is a “liberator of companies!” However, his sole reason for buying into Bud’s father’s airline company is to make his money buy selling it all away. In effect making Buds father and all the other airline workers to lose their jobs. It is only when Gekko betrays Bud, by wrecking his father’s airline company, that Bud begins to realize that his actions are immoral and heeds the advice of his father, “Stop going for the easy buck and start producing something with your life. Create, instead of living off the buying and selling of others.” Bud learns that he is practicing bad business ethics by working for Gekko. Bud realizes that he was running Gekkos portfolio in a way that fully incriminates himself and keeps distant the man whose finances he is controlling. Charlie Sheen ultimately is arrested for violating insider-trading laws. For using inside information to buy and sell Gekkos portfolio. He is to get his revenge though. He uses his contacts in Wall Street to boost the price of a stock that Michael Douglas wishes to acquire. Then he encourages everyone to sell it off to leave his rival with a worthless stock. He learned that with the information that he knew he could control everything.
It is in ones opinion that the movie Wall Street shows the very importantance of the value of information. If inside information is used to predict stock outcomes it becomes unfair and unjust to persons without the information. That’s why it is illegal. You should not be able to manipulate the market with information that is not open to the public. The film also showed what can happen if you practice poor ethics when conducting business, practicing good business ethics helps to accomplish your goals.