Wall Street



Showing the extent of greed and
the "yuppie" stockbroker culture
of the 1980's, financial guru
Gordon Gekko's speech
(Michael Douglas) made cinematic history and Oscar nominations
soon followed. But not a lot has changed since the 80's. In fact financial people are now earning
a lot more money than in that era.

Wall Street

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Gordon Gekko addresses to Teldar Paper Stockholders



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. 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.


The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company!


All together, these men sitting up here own less than 3 percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock; he owns less than 1 percent.


You own the company. That's right … you, the stockholder. And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their, their steak luncheons, their hunting and fishing trips, their … their corporate jets and golden parachutes.


This is an outrage! You're out of line, Gekko!


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.


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 … Thank you.


I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!


The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed - for lack of a better word - is good.


Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms - greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed - you mark my words - will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.


Thank you very much.

addresses to = speaks to
(se dirige a); stockholders = shareholders (accionistas); indulge in fantasy =/= to stand on the ground (fantasear =/= tener los pies sobre la tierra); second-rate power = second-class state (potencia de segundo nivel); trade deficit: commercial deficit (deficit comercial); fiscal deficit: tax deficit (deficit impositivo); at nightmare proportion: a terrifying situation (en niveles aterradores); accountability: responsibility (responsabilidad, respuesta); build/built/built/building: construct (contruir); at stake = at issue (en juego); no stake = no participation (ninguna participación); owns: has, is the owner of (tiene); royally: in a royal manner (como reyes); screwed over: penetrated sexually (fornicados); bureaucrats = administrative officials (administrativos); steak luncheon: chaving lunch with expensive meats (almuerzos con bife); hunting and fishing trips: exclusive tours for hunting and fishing (exclusivos viajes de cacería y pesca); corporate jets = private planes (aviones privados); parachute: rescue equipment on a plane (paracaídas); outrage: disgusting act (ultraje, hecho desagradable); out of the line = out of context (fuera de contexto, disparatando); earning: getting money (embolsándose, ganando); guys: (informal) men ("señores"); figure out = understand (entender);I do know = I really knows: emphatic use of auxiliar "do" (realmente sé); half of that = 50% of that (la mitad de eso); paperwork: work that involves handling papers (el papeleo); back and forth: moving from one place to another and back (de ida y vuelta); the unfittest: people who are below the required standards for a purpose (incapaces); deals: business operations (operaciones de negocios); pretax profit = benefit before taxes (ganancias antes de aplicar impuestos); greed: avarice, excessive desire to possess more (avaricia, codicia); for lack of = in absence of (a falta de); cuts through = gets across (atraviesa); upward surge: positive rise (surgimiento positivo); mankind: humanity (la Humanidad); malfunctioning = non-operative (inoperante).

Film info



A naive young man learns some hard lessons about the world of high finance.


Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Martin Sheen.


Oliver Stone - Produced in 1987


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