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Michael Douglas, aka Gordon Gekko, recants; greed is not good

Michael Douglas has been recruited by the FBI to front a campaign against insider trading and fraud

In Wall Street, Michael Douglas, played the loathsome and crooked stockbroker Gordon Gekko, who famously blurted out the line that “greed is good”. Now, more than 20 years later, he has been recruited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to front a very real campaign against insider trading and fraud that costs the US Treasury billions of dollars every year.

The traders that the FBI have in their sights could well be the next Michael Milken – the one time junk bond king – who the Guardian profiled following his release from prison for fraud in 1995. Milken was, in part, the inspiration for Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. Legend has it that Milken once sat at an expensive X-shaped desk from which he directed his empire.

Milken and the other self styled Masters of the Universe epitomised much of what had gone wrong with US stock markets and their demise was hastened by the stock market crash of 1987.

By the 1990′s, the avarice of the previous decade seemed to have been replaced – greed had gone out of fashion, or so we were led to believe.

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