You know…if you read this speech…if you truly listen to what he is saying…he is right. Look past the trendy “hate Wall Street” rhetoric being bandied about by our current President and media. Look at what is being said here and think about what is *truly* being said….
Gekko: Well, I appreciate the opportunity you’re giving me, Mr. Cromwell, as the single largest shareholder in Teldar Paper, to speak.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re not here to indulge in fantasy, but in political and economic reality. America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market, when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company!
All together, these men sitting up here [Teldar management] own less than 3 percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock; he owns less than 1 percent.
You own the company. That’s right — you, the stockholder.
And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their steak lunches, their hunting and fishing trips, their corporate jets and golden parachutes.
Cromwell: This is an outrage! You’re out of line, Gekko!
Gekko: Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents, each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can’t figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I’ll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents.
The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I’ve been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars. (applause) Thank you.
I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that 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 USA.
Thank you very much.”
This movie was done in 1985. Still holds true today. One could argue that you can apply this to all of the life-long politicians that have never held a real job, a job where they have been responsible for creating anything, for making sure payroll is met, making sure that shareholders receive a return on their investment. They collect their giant salaries (look it up) and benefits that our paid by us…the taxpayers. Do you really think they are any better than the purported “criminals” of Wall Street or the banks? Really? If you do, than you are truly naive…
Are there criminals on Wall Street? Of course. Are there criminals in every single line of work? Yes. Are there criminals serving as your Congressman, Senator? Yes. If you don’t think so…you are truly naive…
This country was created, built on and made into the greatest country on earth because of the entrepreneurial drive to be successful. And our current government wants to destroy that. Put everyone on a level playing field. Everyone doesn’t belong on a level playing field. Face facts – there are smarter people, harder-working people…not everyone “deserves” the same thing. Period.
One of my most favorite movies ever…