The hostility toward Wall Street and the "rich" is more than just a political phenomenon, it's a cultural one, too. That's the conclusion I drew from going to see "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," the new movie by the strange combination of Oliver Stone and 20th Century Fox, a News Corporation Company.
The bankers in the film are portrayed as greedy, greedy, greedy. "It seems like greed got greedier," Gordon Gekko says at one point. "Last year 40% of American profits came from financial services. Not anything remotely related to production or the needs of the American public."
"The mother of all evil is speculation," Mr. Gekko says, saying it is "like cancer."
The movie is fictional but aspects of it map neatly onto reality, starting with the $2 a share offer for a floundering Keller Zabel Investments (shades of Bear Stearns).
The big bad bank in the movie is a firm called Churchill Schwartz, whose initials, CS, look a lot like those of Goldman Sachs (or also Credit Suisse). Other details map more or less to the situation of Goldman Sachs, too, or at least to the popular version of it — the firm "was shorting subprime" and got the federal government to bail them out "100%."
The hero of the book is a green energy enthusiast dating the founder of a "leftist Web site."
You get the idea.