Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) Essay
Q1. Do you agree with Gordon Gekko that “Greed is Good”? Why or why not? “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U. S. A. ” Above is what has been quoted by Gordon Gekko in the 1987 Wall Street movie.
Interestingly, the notion that greed is good has been suggested by Adam Smith, who argued that the efforts of individuals in pursuit of their own self-interest will make the society as a whole better off. Greed defines as an inordinate desire to possess ourselves of something that might bring us benefits. We might morally assume that greed is inappropriate. I don’t agree with Gordon Gekko that greed is good because greed is not necessarily good; it is like a double-edged sword. In reality, human beings gain more pleasure when they act in their best interest and improve their life.
Greed can also become an addiction where the strong desire over attachment to material world makes people being never satisfied of what they have. This insatiable hungry creates a behavior of always wanting and expecting more of what gets them high, fame and pleasure. In this movie, Greed makes one forget family responsibilities. This is the main reason for Winnie to be not in good terms with her father, Gordon Gekko as she realized that Gekko loves money above all. He spends much of his life earning money and power and also went through imprisonment because of money.
Besides that, greed can be seen as the motivator to get more money, power and fame. Bretton James acted against ethic values in taking over Keller Zabel when he uses his position and influence to bring down his competitors Louis Zabel. He does not feel even the slightest of remorse in doing so as this is common in business where he thinks that if did not do so, someone else will do it eventually. He is very greedy. This is proven when Jacob asks him at what rate would Bretton stop doing what he has been doing and his reply is “More”.
He never seems satisfied with what he got. Those mentioned above are the overshoot examples of being greedy. In those situations, greed is not good. Contrastingly, being greedy might also bring about positive outcomes when we do not harm people and follow moral rules in getting more of what we desire. Student might greed to achieve good results, thus will study hard to achieve it. A businessman might greed for high profits that will see him innovate new ideas to achieve higher millstone.
When they achieve their interests via ethical and legal means, greed is not bad. It is a way for us to improve ourselves and also uplifted others. In essence, greed is like double-edged sword. It can bring positive results to us when people adhere to ethical and moral values. Otherwise, greed can bring serious and even disastrous outcomes. Thus, I do not agree that greed is good as it will bring more pros than cons. Q2: What sort of character is Gordon Gekko? Cite two (2) incidents from the movie to support your answer.
From the movie Money Never Sleep, Gordon Gekko’s character is viewed as opportunist, a revengeful person and even a hypocrite. Gekko made a deal with Jacob that he will help Jacob to revenge on Bretton James who is behind the fall of Keller Zabel and Louis’ death. In return, Jacob will have to help Gekko to be in good relationship with his daughter, Winnie. At this point, Gekko seemed to have changed and trying to be good father for Winnie. But later on when Jacob patches the relationship between Gekko and Winnie, Gekko being an opportunist uses Jacob to gain the 100 Million dollars.
In the second incident, he manipulated and deceived Jacob to get Winnie to withdraw the money which Gordon had set up for her, by promising he will fund Jacob’s fusion project. But he used the money to start up his own financial company and ran away to London. In the prior event, he told a lady during his book signing session that the meaning of moral hazard is when somebody takes your money and not responsible for it. This means that he knew the action is wrong and it shows he is a hypocrite person. Gekko is revengeful.
This can be seen when he indirectly influences Jacob to bring down Bretton James by mentoring him and giving him clues. Also, Gekko transferred Winnie’s money to his account so that he will have enough wealth to take revenge on Bretton since Bretton did that before. Finally, Bretton was charged and Gekko feels that he has regained his position and become an influential person in the industry once again. “Gordon Gekko: It’s not about the money – It’s about the game. ” Q3: Do you think Gordon Gekko’s 9 years in prison has actually changed him for the better? Provide evidences from the film.
In my opinion, Gordon Gekko’s 9 years in prison do not actually changed him for the better. He is still driven by his greed of money and also revenge. When he is promoting his book “Greed is Good” in a lecture in school, he criticized the current state of the market and about being greedy. However, it appears that he still is the same greedy person that he used to be 9 years ago. Gekko managed to utilise Jacob to transfer the money from Winnie’s account and revenge on Bretton James. He is relieved on his part although he realizes all his actions pull him further from his family and affect other’s life.
At that point, Gekko loves power more than family. Also, he is still very aggressive. He sought and will only settle for more. In his talk Jacob attended, he said “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.
S. A. ” Besides that, Gordon had a grudge against Bretton James as he suspected that it was James’s testimony which had him jailed for a longer period of time. Gordon gave a helping hand to Jake who seeks revenge for his mentor, Louis Zabel by providing him secret information of Bretton James profited from Keller Zabel collapse. There is also another scene that Gordon and Bretton James had a heated conversation during a fund-raising event where Gordon was sarcastically teasing Bretton James that he has to thank the person who put him into jail.