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Wall Street the Business Ethics in the Movie

Categories: Business EthicsMovie

The movie “Wall Street” is a representation of poor morals and dissapointing business ethics in the popular world of business. This movie shows the negative effects that bad business morals can have on society. The two main characters are Bud Fox played by Charlie Sheen and Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas. Bud Fox is a young stockbroker who comes from an honest working-class family but on the other hand, Gordon Gekko is a millionaire who Bud admires and wants to be associated with.

Greed seems to be a huge theme of this movie. This movie portrays the unethical society we live in.

It shows how money oriented society has become and that people will do almost anything to get ahead. Competitiveness has become such a widespread game all over the country, especially in big cities. At the start of Wall Street, Bud Fox is young and insecure about the business world. Bud is a broker seeking new clients and offering second-hand advice regarding the buying and selling of stock.

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Bud was faced with a choice that would change his life. He was so sure he wanted to be involved with Gordon Gekko that he was willing to do whatever it took to be a part of his immoral scheme.

It only took about five minutes for Bud to agree to give insider information about stocks to Gekko in order to become more lucrative and manipulative at the same time. Bud wants to sell him stocks, and hopefully one day be like he is.

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Bud is obviously desperate to do business with Gekko and he passes on some inside information about the airline company that his father works for. Gekko saw this as an opportunity to gain money from inside information and took Bud under his wing. As the relationship between the two develops Bud becomes aware of the corruptness and ruthlessness of the industry in which he works.

He learns that using inside information can raise or lower the price of stocks. Bud obviously made this choice to climb the economic ladder no matter what it took. He wanted to become hugely successful just as Gekko was. There were pros and cons that had to do with the decision making. Money was the main goal of these lucrative schemes, but on the other hand, these men risked their jobs and the chance of possibly going to jail in order to be immorally and dishonestly successful. Initially Bud looked up to Gekko in an almost pathetic way, trying to do anything and everything to get himself into the right position.

This movie also shows how people seem to just want things for themselves and not the community. They don’t care if they use others in order to get what they want. There’s no sense of general responsibility for the public or the clients and they just want to make sure they make money, selfishly and illegally. In this situation I might be just how Bud was initially; intrigued and interested in making money. I might succumb to the pressure f making money and being successful, but in the long run I would also be just like Bud in realizing that a man isn’t “measured by the size of his wallet” (Wall Street).

I understand how hard it could be not to get ‘sucked in’ to so much money so fast. But in the same sense, I do realize how immoral, unethical, and most of all how much of a risk being involved like this is. In this film, it starts off showing that individual is paramount because it shows that stock brokers only care about themselves and money and not the community. They seem to be extremely greedy and willing to stab anybody in the back to help themselves. Most of the movie shows that the individual is paramount.

The only character who shows the community is paramount is Bud’s Father. He tries to show Bud on numerous occasions how much honest work and family is important. Also, his father was the epitome of a moral and ethical character in the film. Since there was basically only one prominent sensible and moral character, it is obvious that the movie’s main theme was greed and immorality. The father represents how society should be; less money oriented, more honest and most important of all more family oriented.

When discussing norms, or a criterium for what is right, we see that most of the four are broken throughout this film. Firstly, norm of right and duties isn’t really broken in this movie. Everybody was free to do what they wanted until they were persecuted by law. Second, norm of justice was definitely broken in the film because there were many accounts of fraud that hurt many investors. Third, Utilitarianmism is he most prevalent in the film. Gekko basically uses everyone and everything in order to increase his wealth with no remorse for anyone.

Finally, caring was broken at first between Bud and his father because of Bud’s determination to be immorally successful. As the movie concluded we see caring as a theme because Bud regains a relationship with his father after realizing the unethical situation he was involved in. We see that Bud and Gordon had no caring relationship because when there is no personal relationship there are no obligations. In conclusion, this movie portrays the ever going problem with competition for the almighty dollar and how it is breaking down the morals and ethics of society and the normal person.

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Wall Street the Business Ethics in the Movie. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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