Investment banks are financial institutions that provide services to individuals, corporations, and governments. These establishments help in raising financial capital while also handling mergers and acquisitions. Let's take a look of how Hollywood depicts these institutions and their employees in the movies. Here are just a few of the movies made about Wall Street. |
6. Margin Call (2011) is an independent production that portrays MIT PhD graduates in the mortgage backed securities environment. Even though it was not a blockbuster hit, it debuted to high acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival. This depiction of a multi-billion bet gone horribly wrong during the Great Recession takes place over a 36-hour period during the beginning of the financial crisis. The movie features the group of morally questionable employees at the company during their miscalculated business moves.
5. Money Never Sleeps (2010) is the follow up to Wall Street. 23 years after the original, the film brings Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen together again on the big screen. After being released from prison for insider trading, Gekko in now on the outside looking in on a world he once commanded. Hoping to fix a broken relationship with his daughter, Gordon makes friends with her fiancé whom later figures out Gordon is still the master manipulator.
4. Rogue Trader (1999) is a true story about Nick Leeson, a 27 year old that establishes a bogus account for unauthorized trading. His actions brought Barings, one of Britain's oldest investment banks, to the verge of financial collapse overnight. The reviews were second-rate at best, but the real story is better. Leeson served six-plus years in prison, and today he is humorously a partner in a financial advisory firm.
3. Barbarians At The Gate (1993) is the tale of the legendary leveraged buyout battle for RJR-Nabisco. R. J. Reynolds bought Nabisco in 1985 and after three years it became one of the major hotspots in the leveraged buyout mania. After coming up for auction, the company was sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a private equity enterprise. Being the biggest leveraged buyout in history, this business transaction spawned a book and this film.
2. The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) is based on the book with the same name. It was published in October 1987, the same month and year Wall Street suffered its most devastating one-day crash in history. This story is a drama-comedy about ambition, social class, politics, racism and greed in 1980's New York City. A box office flop, the film did receive some distinction by being nominated for five Golden Raspberry awards for worst film of the year.
1. Wall Street (1987) featured Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko. The film is the one by which all other finance films are measured. Gekko is a corporate raider whose mantra is "greed is good." The movies cultural impact was vast; from finance to fashion this movie influenced those on Wall Street for many years to come.
There are many movies and movie scenes portraying the workings of investment banks. Maybe the next time you're in one, you'll see it in a different light.
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