Great Learning from Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko’s Dialogues from Movie Wall Street (1987)

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This is truth that most of the money is in the hands of very few people. Rich are getting richer and poor are becoming poorer. Money itself is making money for rich people.  

The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own.

This is true that rich and powerful people are ruling the world. They twist things to benefit themselves. They make the system which works for them.

We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? It’s the free market. And you’re a part of it. You’ve got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I’ve still got a lot to teach you.

In business, things are not what they look like. One needs to be smart enough to see through things.

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.

Powers don’t remain with one country. They keep on shifting. It’s personal interests which drives the shift.

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.

This is true that more people more trouble. In every organization there are some ‘good for nothing’ people. It’s important to identify those non-performing weak links and to take corrective action on them.

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.

You can’t make money in business until you add value and remove wastages from the system. Only true business people can make money for themselves and for their shareholders.

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.

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