The phenomenon of Wall Street guys loving movies about what giant douchebags Wall Street guys are has a long and storied history. Wall Street guys idolized Gordon Gekko after Wall Street like gangsters idolized Tony Montana after Scarface, conveniently forgetting the endings of both movies. So it should come as no surprise that today’s banker bros also love Wolf of Wall Street, a movie which might as well be called Spring Bankers.
A writer for Business Insider saw the film within spitting distance of Goldman Sachs offices and reported that the bros in the audience weren’t exactly horrified by the bad behavior. A few spoilers to follow:
There’s a lot of talk about how Wall Street has “changed” since the financial crisis. Compliance is up, bonuses are down, the holiday parties are boring.
But you wouldn’t necessarily know that from what these guys were cheering at.
When Belfort — a drug addict who later attempts to remain sober — rips up a couch cushion to get to his secret coke stash, there were cheers.
Then, intercut with Popeye eating spinach, Belfort is irrevocably high on Quaaludes (or “ludes,” a muscle relaxer) and dumps coke into his nose to remedy the situation — more cheers.
The worst, though, mild spoiler alert … At one point later in the movie, the feds get Belfort to wear a wire to implicate others at his firm. Meeting with his No. 2, Belfort slides over a piece of paper: “Don’t incriminate yourself. I am wearing a wire.”
And the crowd goes wild. Don’t rat! Stand by your firm!
Finance guys love cocaine, who knew? Let’s be honest, we all could’ve predicted this. Wolf of Wall Street could’ve shown Jordan Belfort raping his own mother and some people would still think he’s a hero because he had a yacht. Is that Martin Scorsese’s responsibility? Hard to say. The real question is, was it worth inspiring a few future Jordan Belforts to give the rest of us this gif?