Michael Douglas, in his award winning performance, in the 1987 film Wall Street that won him the Oscar, for Best performance in a leading role, had his character as a corrupt financier, infamously proclaiming, “Greed is good.” Fans of the actor must have taken that as an endorsement from their idol and accepted that it as the mantra to making a killing at Wall Street.
The Hollywood legend is now on a redemptive course and has joined hands with the FBI and appeared in a commercial, in which he warns that whilst his film was fiction, the problem of insider trading is actual and must not be permitted to continue.
In the commercial Douglas admonishes: “In the movie Wall Street I played Gordon Gekko, a greedy corporate executive who cheated to profit while innocent investors lost their savings. ‘The movie was fiction, but the problem is real. Our economy is increasingly dependent on the success and integrity of the financial markets. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
The FBI commercial is an attempt to bring public awareness to insider trading and to root out corruption from the market place. Its recent success in bringing to light and successfully apprehending and punishing the guilty in one of America’s biggest insider trading cases, must have triggered off the need to enlighten the public about how serious the problem was.
Worth recollecting, is the tarnished Manhattan hedge fund Galleon Group, which through insider trading helped the fund reach $7 billion in value and allowed the company’s boss Raj Rajaratnam, to amass a personal fortune worth almost $2 billion. FBI investigations helped nail the guilty and Rajaratnam was jailed for 11 years. Imprisoned along with him was former beauty queen, an executive of the Galleon Group Daniel Chiesei. She had haughtily claimed that she could manipulate clients at will and could play them ‘like a finely tuned piano’.
Douglas is a fighter. He beat throat cancer that afflicted him, through a punishing course of chemotherapy. His 33 year old son Cameron is in jail, serving a nine and half year sentence for dealing in drugs and being caught with drugs in jail and his wife Catherine Zeta Jones, 42, went through an episode of Bipolar caused by the strain and anxiety. The FBI expressed their appreciation saying that his association would ‘bring us closer’ to the goal of stamping out insider trading.
Earlier people who informed the government agencies, about insider trading and other illegal activity to which they were privy, were entitled to 10 to 30 percent of the money recovered by the information, provided by their whistle blowing. If they follow Douglas’s request, they may not get anything.
Douglas Leff and David Chaves, two agents of the FBI said, that people should come forward without any expectations of monetary rewards and they’d like to see them be patriotic and just do what was morally right and not be motivated by greed – as Michael Douglas, with the benefit of hindsight would say, “Greed is bad, terribly bad, for you as well as our nation’s economy.”
Looking for Entertainment jobs? Click here.Michael Douglas Joins Hands With FBI In Ad Against Corruption In Financial Places by Harrison Barnes