If you haven’t seen the Oscar-nominated movie, The Wolf of Wall Street yet, I’m not necessarily suggesting you see it.
It’s based on a true story of Wall Street’s excesses, and it’s chock-full of graphic scenes of sex, drugs and debauchery. And it’s l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g – about three hours.
But whether you decide to see it or not, there’s a scene in it that is so profound, I’m going to spill the beans about it here. It’s the best ten seconds of any movie I’ve seen in quite a while, especially given the 1,200-point drop in the Dow over the last couple weeks. But first, here’s a little background info…
The movie, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is based on the autobiographical book by Jordan Belfort, which details his rise and fall on Wall Street.
Belfort had just finished training at a major Wall Street firm, and on his first day as a licensed stock broker, the world markets crashed. It was “Black Monday” – in October, 1987.
The firm was one of many that soon closed down, and Belfort was out of a job. But not for long. He soon discovered a world of white-collar crime, taking over a Long Island penny-stock cold-calling boiler room, and was soon making millions by convincing investors to buy stocks his company had invested in, and then selling the stocks for a huge profit. The investors were left with worthless holdings.
Ultimately, after a Federal investigation, Belfort pleaded guilty to securities fraud and charges of money laundering. Rather than face decades behind bars, he became a government witness. He ended up serving 22 months in prison and was ordered to pay his fraud victims $110 million in restitution. He was also barred from the securities industry for life.
Believe it or not, today Belfort gets paid big bucks by major corporations to teach their sales reps “the art of Straight Line Persuasion – how to create instant rapport, control the sales conversation and close every single deal that’s closeable.”
Really! You can’t make up stuff this good!
And he hasn’t paid most of the $110 million he owes to his victims, but that’s another story.
Nothing has really changed on Wall Street, as I reveal in the article I wrote this summer, “A Month of Scams and Scandals on Wall Street.” And JP Morgan Chase just gave a 74% raise to Chief Jamie Dimon in a year in which the bank paid more than $20 BILLION in fines and other legal costs.