Gordon Gekko has apparently had a change of heart. Well, not exactly, but Michael Douglas, the actor who played the infamous corporate raider 25 years ago, has lent his “Wall Street” character to a new FBI campaign targeting financial fraud. The public service announcement is part of an FBI effort to crack down on insider trading, like the conduct that recently earned Galleon Group co-founder Raj Rajaratnam an 11-year prison sentence.
The clip begins with an excerpt from Gekko’s memorable “Greed is Good” speech from “Wall Street,” in which he declared that “greed — for lack of a better word — is good. Greed is right.” The current-day Douglas then appears on-screen and says that the movie “was fiction, but the problem is real.”
“Our economy is increasingly dependent on the success and the integrity of the financial markets,” Douglas says. “If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
Last year, Douglas admitted to being “shocked” when people came up to him on the street and told him how much they admired the Gekko character: “I was always shocked when so many people who saw Wall Street said that I (Gekko) was the person who influenced them and inspired them to go into investment banking. I’d say to people, ‘Well, I was the villain,’ and they would say, ‘No, no, no’, they didn’t see me that way, so it was all very seductive I guess.”