October 9th, 2014
Wall Street (1987)
After watching “Wall Street (1987)” I learned of several dilemmas stockbrokers, such as Bud Fox and Gordon Gekko, encounter in the pursuit of wealth.
First, Bud was faced with the difficult dilemma of whether he should do what's best for his career or what's best for his father. Bud's father worked his entire life for a small airline company, but Bud's Boss, Gordon Gekko, desired to take over the airline and sell it off (leaving Bud's father and many others out of work). Bud must chose business for profit or family allegiance. I learned, therefore, that being a stockbroker potentially comes with the difficult dilemma of balancing professional commitment against family loyalty.
Second, stockbrokers are continuously faced with the difficult dilemma of being good or being greedy. For example, Gordon Gekko expresses throughout the movie that "greed is good." Bud learns, however, that being greedy can involve being bad (greed drives Bud to lie, cheat and hurt those who are closest to him). Stockbrokers, such as Bud and Gekko, often must decide whether the good that comes from greed outweighs the bad it entails. The take away from this, therefore, is that stockbrokers are constantly faced with decisions of morality.
Third, is the issue of corporate governance. The film highlights a fundamental problem with the way corporations are governed, which is that they are controlled by stockbrokers, not the shareholders who actually own the company. As Roger Ebert notes, "big market killings are made by men such as Gekko, who swoop in and snap whole companies out from under the noses of their stockholders." The dilemma is whether stockbrokers should act in favor of the shareholders or in favor of themselves. For Gordon Gekko, the answer is clearly the latter. However, for Bud, the answer is less clear. I learned, therefore, that stockbrokers are often faced with the difficult...
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