September 18, 2010
TOM FOREMAN, GUEST HOST:
Before the financial crisis, there was Wall Street in the 1980s, where greed was considered very good, captured in this famous line from Oliver Stone's film "Wall Street."
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MICHAEL DOUGLAS, "GORDON GEKKO": Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works.
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FOREMAN: Stephen, 25 years later, has anything changed on Wall Street? Is greed still good?
Tom Ajamie, co-author "Financial Serial Killers: Inside the World of Wall Street, Money Hustlers, Swindlers and Con Men."
Tom, same question to you. What, if anything, has changed since that movie came out.
Tom, let me ask you this, because I was just half kidding when I said I'm a defender of greed, what I really meant is there's nothing wrong with making money. That's what the American system is about. So define what greed. What is greed?
Sit on those thoughts for a minute, because the sequel to that movie that defined Wall Street back in the '80s is about to hit theaters, it's called "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" and Ali Velshi sat down with four-time Academy Award-wining director and writer Oliver Stone. And Ali asked him how his film captures the financial collapse and the fall of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT:
Oliver, back when we were doing this, when we reporting on all of this, the financial crisis in 2008, it sometimes felt like we were in a movie. You captured a lot of that using actual track and actual things that happened on TV and many of the players who were involved at the time.
In fact, I'm hoping my life changes on September 24th, because you made me into a star. I want to show our viewers a little clip that had me in it from the movie.
You have to look a little bit hard to find it, but it's there.
Oliver, you really reached out to a lot of people who had some involvement in this, either from the financial world or from the world of financial journalism. Give me your thoughts about this melding of reality and fiction.
You often in your movies have a particular view that is outside of the consensus view. But in this particular case, history has seemed to have verified the fiction that you put together. There really were rumors that affected Wall Street. There really were bad actors on Wall Street in many ways.
It's the nature of the modern world, Oliver Stone just said, referring to nonstop media coverage of Wall Street. Coming up, we'll ask our panel if financial reform would have prevented Wall Street's natural meltdown.
Stay with us.
We're talking about Wall Street then and now.
Tom, before the break Oliver Stone mentioned how business news coverage impacts Wall Street. Do you think it's as grand as he thinks? Do you think that is having an effect on all of us?
Stephen, the new financial reform legislation, does this really do anything to reign in Wall Street?
Hold on a second, let me challenge you on this because here's the problem for me for many, many normal people, you want to be diligent but you are dealing with so many things and this stuff is -
Oh -- Tom do you think?
That is Warren Buffet's job. He is not cutting hair all day and then trying to understand the market at night.
Tom, is that fair to say to people you really have to treat the market that way? Because frankly, I think everybody would pull out of the market if they had to understand all of it.
Tom, that is all true, but let's not mislead investors. Over the last 30 years, we have seen the biggest bull market expansion in the history of the world. I mean you go back to 1982, the Dow Jones with 800, today its well over 10,000 and near 11,000. There have been ups and downs. There have been periods in late '80s and obviously what we just went through. But stocks for the long run is always -- just park the money in the stock market and keep it there, don't be a day trader.