Wall Street (2): Money Never Sleeps

We caught the new Oliver Stone picture: Wall Street 2 this weekend. I thought it was reasonably well made, entertaining. Does a good job of explaining moral hazard and why rescuing people from their financial mistakes is typically a recipe for repeated disaster.

It also does a good job of reminding viewers of the 'feeling' of the 2008 financial meltdown. (Well actually every financial meltdown; they all have a similar feel about them it seems) For those that have grown complacent again with market risk in the world today, the movie offers another chance to recall what that risk really looks like and to remember why those with something to lose, don't want to be left swinging in the wind of the next market storm. I have found that the more one understands about how markets truly work, the less one ever feels complacent to be in them.
For me there was nothing surprising in this film. The only bad part was the reminder that nothing about our system has so far been “fixed” today. In many ways human nature around money and markets is innate, not fixable. That is why we need well defined rules, enforcement, prosecution. At least after the first movie in 1987, the bad guy was caught: Gekko was headed off to jail.
This time, two years after the storm we have most of the major culprits not in jail, in many cases not even in shame. Most are still in positions of power or packaging out to the lap of luxury.

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