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Becca Lipman
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When Hollywood Imitates Wall Street

Five examples of actors trying to be as cool as bankers
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Written and directed by J.C Chandor, Margin Call stars Kevin Spacey as Sam Rogers, Head of Sales and Trading. Paul Bettany as Will Emerson, Head of Trading, Jeremy Irons as CEO and Chairman. Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer gives the film a 88% and an average user rating of 74%.

The head of risk management is fired after creating a model that shows the firm is in big trouble. The film then follows the bankers left behind, who struggle over a 24-hour period to save their livelihood, largely by knowingly dumping their toxic assets. (Sound familiar?)

Lesson: The movie seemed to gloss over the consequences on the market and liquidity when selling all the bank's toxic positions. There were no triggers or regulatory involvement. Today, systems and consequences are theoretically in place to predict, alert, and better control the aftershock.

Memorable Quote

Sam Rogers: You are panicking
John Tuld: If you're first out the door, that's not called panicking.
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John Tuld: There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat.


Margin Call was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

 

Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
1/22/2014 | 7:52:29 PM
re: When Hollywood Imitates Wall Street
Had to add this bit of advice from Business Insider:

"Bankers: First of all, don't cheer in a movie. It's weird. You can laugh, but no cheering. Second, guffawing while Leo attempts to evade federal indictment doesn't exactly help America's perception of your societal value."
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
1/22/2014 | 7:48:22 PM
re: When Hollywood Imitates Wall Street
I also saw that on Business insider..

"When Belfort Gă÷ a drug addict who later attempts to remain sober Gă÷ rips up a couch cushion to get to his secret coke stash, there were cheers."

How assuring.

http://www.businessinsider.com...
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 6:30:20 PM
re: When Hollywood Imitates Wall Street
I read an article about a screening of the film held downtown for a Wall Street (traders) audience. Evidently they cheered every dispicable & degenerate act portrayed on the screen. The reporter felt this response was more damning of the audience then the film itself. This is a movie where you can project whatever attitudes (greed is good/bad, yea free markets, sex drugs rock & roll, jail the bankers, or whatever) you have on to it.
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