The Wolf of Wall Street
Hello brave readership. I'm back after a long Christmas break to talk about stocks. Bears. Bulls. Beets. Battlestar Galactica? I don't know anything about stocks. Prior to being illuminated by the film The Wolf of Wall Street, I thought being a broker was as easy as wearing a sweaty button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and shouting at people. Apparently, I missed the bit about drinking martinis and random office orgies.
In this movie, Leo plays the greedy, self-driven, pill-popping, yaht-tipping, booze-drinking (participle-using?) wall street stock broker Jordan Belfort. He's a real guy too. The movie is based on his memoir. Belfort started a company that sells pump and dump stocks - really terrible investments that are artificially hyped so they will sell quickly. After the company defrauded millions of dollars from their clients over about seven years, Belfort's company was taken down by the FBI. All in all, it's a massively entertaining movie. The film moves quickly, feels worldly, and features the most blissful Matthew McConaughey scene I have ever witnessed. The only thing I want for Christmas this year is to learn that Matthew McConaughey's epic speech was improvised.
The movie is not exactly for the morally faint of heart. The film made it clear that Jordan Belfort was really into some stuff that would have probably made Caligula blush. Don't watch it with your mom.
Surprisingly, as the movie's ending was horribly unsatisfying. The fall from grace I was craving when the FBI had nabbed him felt more like a mere stumble. After a long career in scamming, the movie insinuated he only got a few years of jail time.
I was more curious about the real character. Was he still alive? Is he still in jail? Did his heart explode from all the drugs he's done in his life? As always, I went to Wikipedia. I found out that Jordan Belfort only served twenty-two months in prison. He was also ordered to pay back 110.4 million dollars to victims as restitution. To date, Jordan has only paid back 11.6 million dollars. Mind you, this is after book deals, a movie deal, and a successful motivational speaking circuit around the world. Meanwhile, Belfort shamelessly markets himself as the REAL Wolf of Wall Street . According to Wikipedia, Belfort told an audience in Dubai.
"I’ll make more this year than I ever made in my best year as a broker."
What blew my mind was that Jordan Belfort, a career scammer and real life anti-hero, is still making money. The disappointing ending to the movie sort of seamlessly continues into the disappointing reality that this guy is still rich out of his mind off of the movie you just watched. I'll have one serving of irony , Mr. Scorsese. Hold the justice.