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Wall Street and Wizard of Oz Movies: Economic Concepts Essay

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Updated: Sep 3rd, 2021


Movies Wall Street and Wizard of Oz depict different economic problems and critical life situations typical for business. Wall Street vividly portrays corporate misconduct and insider trading which threatens company’s existence and its employees. Both movies depict real life situations which influence the company and stakeholders, future growth and personal values of people.


The main theme of Wall Street is insider trading perfumed by Bud Fox and Gordon Gekko. Insider trading refers to “the buying or selling of securities by a person who has obtained nonpublic information”, which is likely to be important to a reasonable investor and who employs that nonpublic information in breach of an obligation of confidence or trust (Bishop 72). The movie vividly portrays unethical behavior of corporate leaders and their desire to gain financial success at any price. Gekko, a corporate raider, decides to sell assets of Bluestar and dismiss employees. Bud manipulates with the assets which is prohibited by law. The movie shows that the alleged abuses parallel insider trading techniques: a commodities broker who receives a large order for soybeans from a customer might then buy some soybeans futures himself.

He could then sell at a higher price to fill the customer’s order or sell to others when the price rises as a result of the large purchase order. in spite of positive outcomes of Fox’s actions, he is arrested by the Securities Exchange Commission because of law violation and illegal actions. Despite vigorous enforcement of antifraud laws brawny with sanctions that include huge financial penalties and prison terms for offenders, those who abuse the insider trading, short-swing profits laws have not been deterred. Under the short-swing rule, an officer or director may complete as many purchases as he or she wishes without regard to any time constraints provided he or she does not sell the equity-security (Bishop 76). The movie underlines that recovery by the firm is automatic, it still is a crime (Reuters Glossary 236).

The main problem is that both Bud Fox and Gordon Gekko use nonpublic information and manipulate assets and the stock prices. According ot law, this confidential business information belongs to the corporation, to its shareholders. securities laws dictate the time and method that certain important information can be released to the public (Bishop 79). The disclosure of information lies within the discretion of a firm’s executive management. Nonetheless, the firm’s executives must exercise that discretion in conformity with the obligations prescribed by reason of their fiduciary relationship with the firm and its shareholders (Reuters Glossary 236). The firm’s employees are also prohibited from selling or giving away inside information to someone who is likely to use it.

Moreover, if the person to whom the employee sold or gave the information knew, or should have known, that the firm’s employee was breaching a fiduciary duty in disclosing the nonpublic information, that person, the “tippee,” is also liable for illegal insider trading. Only if the tipper is without sin, is the tippee as well. The profitable use or disclosure of nonpublic information in the foregoing material areas will violate the federal securities laws and result in civil and criminal penalties for the user or discloser as well as the firm (Bishop 82). The movie portrays that regulation of insider trading has received strong support among those who consider noneconomic values as the basis on which government should establish the ideal content of laws in our society. It has, on the contrary, had much weaker support among those who wish to base securities regulations on a purely economic basis.

Wizard of Oz (1937) portrays money reform and its impact on citizens and the community. The events tool place at the end of the 19th century and depict the 1890s Midwestern political movement. The government was to lend money to workingmen to finance their co-operative undertakings. It differed only in that the money was to come from inflation of greenbacks rather than taxes (Black 367). The greenback theory was also on a par with all anarchistic and socialistic theories, since it held that interest was robbery to the extent that it exceeded the labour-cost of conducting the loan transactions. Its confusion was parallel with the double meaning of the term “value of money.” The movie portrays the times when the American Federation of Labor was once more almost drawn into the whirlpool of partisan politics during the presidential campaign of 1896 (Black 368).

The Money reform was proposed by William Jennings Bryan who proposed to break bankers’ monopoly and prevent further manipulations with gold currency. the movie portrays that three successive conventions had declared in favor of the free coinage of silver; and now the Democratic party had come out for free coinage. In this situation very many prominent trade union leaders declared publicly for Bryan (Bishop155). It declared that the law creating the so-called national banking system was a delegation by Congress of the sovereign power to make money and to regulate its value to a class of irresponsible banking associations, and “that this money monopoly is the parent of all monopolies — the very root and essence of slavery — railroad, warehouse and all other monopolies of whatever kind or nature are the outgrowth of and subservient to this power” (Bishop156). Also, as a remedy against this money monopoly, the platform set forth at great length the scheme of interconvertible bonds and legal tender paper money and, as auxiliary to the latter, the repeal of the exemption from taxation of bank capital and government bonds.

The question of the taxation of government bonds was again considered by a special committee composed of A. Campbell, R. Trevellick, and A. J. Kuykendall, and they found the question “one of very grave importance,” and the exemption a “burden imposed on labor for the benefit of capital” (Bishop159). Bryan proposed to coin silver mosey at a fixed ratio with gold. Thus, this proposition was declined as inappropriate and impossible for the majority of the states. As the most important this movie portrays that money reform is not an economic issue by a political one influenced by political interests of the parties and their preferences. Nobody took into account financial or economic benefits of the reform, but relied on personal and political outcomes and financial gains. The movie expressed sympathy with the working women and recommended to the unemployed that they “proceed to the public lands and become actual settlers” (Bishop160). Through the characters of Dorothy, Tin Woodsman and Scarecrow movie depicts impact of common citizens on political and economic reforms. In real life, Euro can be seen as a money reform aimed to improve stability in Europe and introduce a unified currency. This money reform changed economic relations and economies of the European states and has a great impact in the global economy. Similar to the movie theme, Euro currency is a political decision.


In sum, values, morality, and ethics are used in a variety of loosely connected contexts. Business and economy is philosophical thinking about issues of morality in business, including moral problems and judgments. Business ethics necessarily addresses ethical issues that arise in a competitive, economic environment, and these issues are similar to those raised by any human activity.

Works Cited

Bishop, M. Essential Economics. Bloomberg Press, 2004.

Black, J. A Dictionary of Economics. Oxford University Press, USA, 2003.

Reuters Glossary of International Financial and Economic Terms. Cartermill International; 2Rev Ed edition, 1995.

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