Bankers — the new prostitutes

In 1990, the movie Pretty Woman took the country by storm and turned Julia Roberts into a major star.  It was a “new age” Cinderella story, one that saw a prostitute, through her soulful innocence, redeem a corporate raider.  I was not charmed.  To me, corporate raiders are useful people, while prostitutes are very sad people.  Corporate raiders create wealth; prostitutes sell their bodies for money and, too often, dull the tremendous pain that goes with that sale by using drugs and alcohol.  If they’re really unlucky, they end up with an abusive pimp, a loathsome or deadly disease, or a john who beats or kills them.  It’s not a glamor job — and the problem with Pretty Woman was that it made a good case for the wholesomeness and potential profit of prostitution.  I hated the movie.

It turns out the Richard Gere also hated the movie . . . but not because it glamorizes a deadly and demoralizing profession.  He hated it because it glamorizes — wait for it — bankers:

The 62-year-old actor added to Australian magazine Woman’s Day magazine that he believes his character in the film even helped trigger the worldwide economic meltdown.

Speaking to Woman’s Day magazine, he said: ‘People ask me about that movie but I’ve forgotten it.

‘That was a silly romantic comedy.’

He also says the character he played in the movie, Edward Lewis, glorified brash Wall St financiers.

Gere added: ‘It made those guys seem dashing, which was wrong. Thankfully, today, we are all more sceptical [sic] of those guys.’

Please remind me why we buy movie tickets that fund these people.  Is our momentary entertainment really worth the cost of keeping these guys in the spotlight?

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  • Ymarsakar

    Even if no American bought Hollywood tickets, they could still fund more than 50% of their operations using oversea funds. Where did you think Obama got his political campaign chest from?

  • Tonestaple

    I am told that I am far too critical a reader and it carries over into the few movies I watch.  I liked “Pretty Woman” even though Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are terrible actors.  But I viewed it as a piece of fluff and it certainly wasn’t going to have any effect on my career choices.  Nevertheless, very early on in the movie, Richard Gere managed to ruin it.  He asked a minion how the stock of his take-over target opened on the Nikei and Gere pronounced it “nee-kai” as in “ai-yi-yi” and all I could think after that in any of the business scenes was, couldn’t he have checked how to pronounce that?  An investment banker, a take-over artist would surely know.  Every time I see that bit of the movie, I flinch.

    I hear this kind of very little thing a lot, where an actor can’t be bothered to learn how to pronounce a word he ought to know, or (Julia Roberts, I’m looking at you) an actor uses the same gesture to indicate nervousness in every single movie he’s ever made, or, or, or.  They don’t even respect their audience enough to play “let’s pretend” in a convincing way.

  • Mike Devx

    Well, 95% of Hollywood *is* ultra-liberal.  Would you have *expected* any different opinion from Richard Gere?

    I’m only surprised when one of them reveals a conservative bent, eg Adam Carolla.

  • BrianE

     “To me, corporate raiders are useful people, while prostitutes are very sad people.  Corporate raiders create wealth…” BW

    And impoverish a lot of folks along the way. I’m not so sure they are a net gain for society. It is true they offer a significant return to the shareholders of a targeted company, but compare that to the long term economic losses as companies are dismantled and sold piecemeal or held hostage by the raider. It does restructure capital but at a cost. It may even offer a net gain, but tell that to the employee of a factory sold for parts by a corporate raider, or a board extorted by the raider for profit at the expense of the company’s assets.

    Did Carl Icahn restructure mismanaged companies and return them to profitability or live off the imbalance between stock valuation and asset value?

    I would suggest Icahn screwed people for money.

    Bankers….Prostitutes. Yup, sounds about right.