The FBI is getting creative and channeling popular culture in their attempt to crack down on and curb insider trading. Their latest tactic—tapping into the clout of fictional but legendary Wall Street antihero Gordon Gekko, as portrayed by Michael Douglas, from the movies Wall Street and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.The federal agency is planning to air several public service announcements featuring Gekko denouncing insider trading, Bloomberg reported. Yes guys—it is in fact, bad, and very illegal.
Inspired by real life Wall Street giants Carl Icahn and Ivan Boesky, Gekko is a corporate raider and buyout artist that relied heavily on insider trading to make his profit and corrupted those within his sphere of influence.
The character became a cultural icon and symbol of Wall Street greed, but also a legend within the minds of many aspiring financiers—not necessary a good thing as it seems some Wall Streeters were having a very hard time telling fact from fiction and right from wrong (like that ever happens). From Bloomberg:
In a first for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Douglas, reprising his role in the 1987 film, will urge fund managers and Wall Street analysts to avoid taking the same route to the federal penitentiary as his character does, FBI Special Agent David Chaves said in an interview on Feb. 24.
“He’s talking about himself as Gordon Gekko and the role that he played and how that was fiction and this is not but about real crime on Wall Street,” said Chaves, a supervisor of one of the FBI’s securities and commodities fraud units in New York. Some television stations have agreed to broadcast the spot, he said.
The public announcement could definitely have its influence—Gekko is still very much a talked about topic these days. Just last month, it was revealed that NBA star LeBron James used the alias Gordon Gekko when checking into hotels. Last night, Oscar host Billy Crystal used the jab that “he was occupying Wall Street 20 years before it was cool” to introduce Douglas. (Douglas also won an Oscar for his performance in the first Wall Street film.)
We’ll keep an eye out on the PSA as it is expected to go public today and post it when we can get a clip.