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            Will Wall Street 2 Inspire More Gordon Gekkos?

            Will the sequel to Oliver Stone’s 1987 movie Wall Street inspire a new Gordon Gekkos graduating from business school?

            The film, sub-titled “Money Never Sleeps”, premiered at Cannes last month. It is set in June 2008, 23 years after the first one.


            Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas again, has just been released from prison and returns to finance. Instead of Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox, Gekko is this time helping his daughter’s green energy trader boyfriend take revenge on a hedge fund manager who he holds responsible for the collapse of his firm and the suicide of his boss in the midst of the the financial meltdown.


            According to the Financial Times, the first film influenced the way Wall Street people “walk and talk”. Gekko’s clothes, art collection and prophetic words to the stockholders of takeover target Teldar Paper, paraphrased as “Greed… is good”, have inspired the attitudes and habits of hedge fund managers over the last decade.


            However Chris Jeffery, Executive MBA Course Director at Cass Business School, London, begs to differ:

            “Did greed ever go away?  The whole basis of the stock market is to make money and optimize the value of investment.  What we have seen since the 1980s is increased regulation, particularly since the recent financial crisis. The Gordon Gekkos of the world have not disappeared in the interim, but they are now a rarer breed. 

            “Those who study an MBA learn about optimizing their business in line with laws and regulations, but also their part in a wider society.  An MBA is about long term business, not short term gain.  People are now much more aware of their and their business’s impact on the wider scale.  It is not just about Wall Street now; it is about the global markets.


            “It is also interesting to note that both Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko and Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox characters were not MBA graduates.”


            We’ll find out September 24th if Gekko’s protégé, played this time by Shia LaBeouf, or indeed any of the more dastardly characters in Wall Street 2 has an MBA. Watch the trailer for more.