New Films Take on Wall Street


"Money Never Sleeps" is filled with parallels to the real crisis. There is a Bear Stearns-like bank named Keller Zabel that implodes. There are tense meetings of the country's top bankers at the New York Federal Reserve presided over by a Treasury Secretary named "Paul." Stone has said that Keller Zabel's founder is like Bear's Ace Greenberg or Lehman Brothers' Richard Fuld. The character Bretton James resembles JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Nouriel "Dr. Doom" Roubini makes a cameo as Dr. Hashim.

Stone said that he and Douglas even consulted Samuel Waksal, the former chief executive of the biopharmaceutical company ImClone Systems, who was convicted of insider trading. Waksal is perhaps even more famous for his friend, Martha Stewart, who was convicted of lying to investigators about her sale of ImClone shares. "He advised Michael on what it was like to be in jail and what it's like to come out," Stone said of Waksal.

When an audience member at the SoHo Apple store expressed displeasure with Gekko's character at a time when millions of Americans have lost their jobs, Stone said: "No, this is not that movie." The movie director added, "The movie is essentially about trust and greed and betrayal and loveā€¦ The movie, at its most basic level, is about money versus love."

Reich said it was wrong to view the popular rage as directed only against Wall Street or Washington.

"It's against power," he said. "The sense that many Americans have is that the dice are loaded and the game is rigged."

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