Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Few Thoughts About "The Wolf of Wall Street" Movie

The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the real life story of Jordan Belfort, who ran the pump and dump, boiler room stock brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont. Belfort made millions upon millions, but eventually ended up in the slammer.

Thinking big picture, the early success of Stratton Oakmont is an indication of how many people don't think things through logically, but act on emotions. The boiler room stock pitches at Stratton to prospects were all about hype. Anyone taking pen to paper to work an analysis of the stocks pitched would realize that there was little behind them.

The Stratton hype reminds me a lot of government, when it warns us of this "threat," or that, that they have to "protect" us from. People react to these hyped threats and support government, without thinking the logic through. That's a problem for libertarians, who would like to see a freer society, with less government intrusion. How does one get through to those who don't think out things out and react emotionally?
I suspect that without the Federal Reserve created boom and bust cycle, there still would be some boiler room operations like Stratton, but much fewer. Right now most stocks are driven by Fed  money printing manipulations---and the accompanying booms and busts. Because of these booms and busts, it is difficult for most people to understand how to truly make money through investments. If the Fed created boom and busts were eliminated, there would be a lot more examples of investors who made money by diligent analysis versus the current Fed-fueled wild rise of speculative stocks. It would be a much sounder and safer investment environment.
Overall the movie was entertaining and it keeps your attention through out most of the film, though at 2 hours and 59 minutes, it is a bit long. I don't, however, think it was an advancement in understanding of penny stock manipulations beyond what was shown in Boiler Room.
Leonardo DiCaprio gives a standout performance as Belfort and Jonah Hill does an awesome job in his supporting role as Belfort's partner. I would call both performances Academy Award worthy, but I don't think we will see such awards handed out. Although the film portrays a very negative view of Wall Street (Technically, a portrayal of only the boiler room part of Wall Street), the lefties are for some reason upset this film was made and that Martin Scorsese directed it.

No comments:

Post a Comment