When Oliver Stone set out to make his cinematic statement against the "greed is good" culture on Wall Street in 1987, he had no idea that he'd be adding to it. But that's exactly what happened when Gordon Gekko became a hero (and not a villian) to young Wall Street wannabes across the country, inspiring young men (and three or four women) by the thousands to flock to New York in hopes of making Gekko-like money, and making it quickly.
Likewise, books like James Stewart's Den of Thieves and Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker, which were written to vilify illegal and greedy practices on Wall Street, only proved to further inspire young men (and three or four women) to don pinstripes and go to New York to try their hand at making it big in the very big city.
Similarly, the current trial of Galleon Founder Raj Rajaratnam -- which is being closely followed by hundreds of journalists and bloggers (including this one) who are covering every last bit of evidence down to each of Raj Raj's wiretapped giggles and uh huhs and okay, let's buy anothers -- will, in the end, prove to do the same.
I can already imagine the hundreds if not thousands of young and hungry, too-smart-and-too-priviliged-for-their-own-good fraternity and eating club boys (and three or four sorority and eating club girls) hanging on every back and forth between Raj Raj and his cohorts (that is, his employees and "outside consultants"). And it's not the exchanges including incriminating evidence that I'm talking about, but the typical conversations that will be played and transcribed, over and over, illustrating how investors and traders often speak to each other when quickly mulling over million-dollar trades, taking into consideration variables like up-to-the-second stock levels and index levels and P&L statements -- much of which, admittedly, can sound incredibly exciting.
And, as we know, over the next 10 weeks of the Rajaratnam trial, there will be some 90 hours of Raj Raj's wiretapped conversations to listen to, read, dissect, and salivate over.
(DealBook: Galleon Wiretap of the Day: 'Buddy' Reviews the Portfolio)
(Related: U.S. v. Rajaratnam, Day 2)