Wall Street WARZONE

Oliver Stone’s New ‘Wall Street’ Film: Market-Timing Signal for ‘Crash of 2010?’ Or the ‘Death of America’s Soul?’ Michael Lewis Discovers Both for Vanity Fair

by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| | 6/17/2010

Yes, Oliver Stone is suddenly America’s hottest market timer, as well as the voice of the inner “American Soul,” warning investors of a collapse. Remember the Crash of 1987? One-day 23% drop. Happened just before his 1987 “Wall Street” film hit the theaters. He says he can’t predict the future. Don’t believe him: Even if he’s unaware of  his “source,” it’s stirring again, rising from deep in what Carl Jung would call the “collective unconscious” of the “American Soul,” warning us again of a collapse, using Stone as a stock trader’s “alert.”

Wake up Wall Street!
This film’s your biggest market timing signal of 2010!
Seriously, why now? Why after 23 years, did Stone decide to update the message of his famous 1987 “Wall Street.” Great question: The interviewer was Michael Lewis, former Salomon trader, author of Liar’s Poker, a guy who understands Wall Street’s soul.

Stone’s answer is in “Greed Never Left,” Lewis’ Vanity Fair review of Stone’s new movie, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Stone had to think about it: “Why did I go back?” Why? “Because it’s important. It’s the collapse of capitalism and the collapse of our society. It is. Our way of life is going to change.”

The “collapse of capitalism?” Yes, Stone’s predicting the “collapse of capitalism.” Not just a stock market crash, the “collapse of capitalism.” He’s predicting the “collapse of our society.” Worse, Stone’s predicting: “Our way of life is going to change.” Is this really a market timing signal? Hey, it was in 1987. Will history repeat? The odds say yes.

Remember Stone’s predictions when you see the sequel, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Lewis says Stone’s goal is not just to entertain you for a couple hours then send you back home to continue denying everything Wall Street’s fat-cat bankers, the real Gordon Gekkos, are doing every day to destroy capitalism, destroy democracy, destroy your retirement portfolio … no, Oliver Stone, the All-American filmmaker of Born on the Fourth of July, Platoon, JFK, Nixon, W, World Trade Center has a message … wake up America, you’re sleepwalking.

Wake up? America is unprepared for the coming disaster
Stone’s message is clear and powerful: You’re ignoring the coming collapse of capitalism … of our society … collapse of America. We are ignoring the end of our experiment in democracy. We are unprepared … “our way of life is going to change.” Wake up.

Unfortunately, Stone’s voice will likely be as ineffective in 2010 as in 1987. Few listen. Since the first film we’ve had bigger bubbles, bigger busts. Remember the Asian-Russian crises of 1997-98? Dotcoms in 2000? Subprime meltdown of 2007-08? “Oliver Stone’s 1987 Wall Street succeeded brilliantly in capturing a culture,” says Lewis, “and failed miserably as a call for change. To the director’s dismay, thousands of financial hotshots dreamed of becoming Gordon Gekko.” It was like a recruiting poster for terrorists. Why?

Wall Street insiders and Main Street day traders are by nature optimists and opportunists. It’s in their DNA. The love crises and volatility. Like the bomb-squad experts in “Hurt Locker,” they race into the kill-zone. This is a game to traders. They love the hunt, the thrill, the adrenaline rush … they have to minimize the risks, deny the danger, ignore the consequences as they rush in to capture the moment.

Seriously: Lewis says “Michael Douglas often expresses his astonishment at the many Wall Street males who have sought him out in public places just to say, ‘Man, I want to tell you, you are the single biggest reason I got into the business. I watched Wall Street, and I wanted to be Gordon Gekko.’ The film’s equally perplexed screenwriter, Stanley Weiser, has made the same point, in a different way. ‘We wanted to capture the hyper-materialism of the culture,’ he said. ‘That was always the intent of the movie. Not to make Gordon Gekko a hero’.” Remember, greed never left … greed never will leave.

Collapse! Chicken Little? Crying Wolf? Cassandra?
Wait a minute: Is this a conspiracy? That word, “collapse,” keeps popping up in news and literature: Jared Diamond, anthropologist, in his bestselling Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed … Hedge fund manager Byron Biggs in Wealth, War and Wisdom, warns of the “possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure.” Financial historian … Niall Ferguson, author of Colossus: The Rise and Fall of The American Empire, writing in “Collapse & Complexity: Empires on the Edge of Chaos,” warns we’ll fail to see a coming collapse. … Jack Bogle saw the problem years ago in The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism. … And Hong Kong economist Marc Faber used the dreaded “c-word” in his Doom, Boom & Gloom Report: “The future will be a total disaster, with a collapse of our capitalistic system … inevitable.”

But is Stone credible? Not just predict another collapse, but the timing? Or is he just another entertainer, like Mad Money’s Jim Cramer? Was it just coincidence that his film was released right after the October 1987 crash? Doesn’t matter: Lewis says Wall Street saw Stone as a guru. He denies it: “We didn’t know what was coming and we didn’t know this was a special period … People accused me of being a genius who predicted the stock-market crash of 1987. I didn’t predict the stock-market crash. I had no idea.”

But you have to wonder: Are Wall Street’s insiders right? Is Stone a guru, seer, great cosmic market timer? Is there a real link between the ’87 crash and 2010? Is he linked in to all the many references to the word ”collapse” by leading minds? And is Stone’s release of the sequel now a warning of an impending collapse, new market timing signal?

Swiss psychologist Carl Jung would tell us events like this are not random, unrelated “coincidences,” but a “synchronicity” of the “collective unconsciousness” surfacing in the voices of many tuned-in beings, warning us our world is in grave danger … that yes, a collapse is dead ahead … but that Wall Street, like bomb experts in “Hurt Locker,” will go deep into denial, naturally blind to the larger historical warning while focusing narrowly on trading opportunities in their kill-zone.

Yet, while Wall Street is in denial of the coming collapse, blind to everything except “the action,” some voices are speaking loudly for the “collective unconscious:” Lewis, Diamond, Ferguson, Bogle, Grantham, Bogle, Faber, Biggs, and others, each in their own way are repeating Stone’s message: “It’s important, it’s about the collapse of capitalism, the collapse of our society. … Our way of life is going to change.”

Reverse course? Save the “American Soul” from collapse?
Unfortunately, when the collapse ignites, it’s game-over. America will have passed the “point of no-return.” We will wake up too late to prepare. Collapse becomes destiny. As Ferguson puts it: “Collapse may come much more suddenly than many historians imagine. A combination of fiscal deficits and military overstretch suggests that the United States may be the next empire on the precipice,” and fall easily, without a push.

Yes, our destiny is locked deep in the DNA Wall Street’s insiders, in their insatiable short-term greed. America’s destiny is also locked in the long-term lifecyles of nations and economies, as we discovered in Ferguson’s historical works and Diamond’s anthropological research. Destiny repeats over time and through the ages, in new forms, new nations, new civilizations, yet always repeating the same patterns.

All this was predictable back in the winter of 2008, when at the center of the storm … when Wall Street was melting down … when a frightened Treasury Secretary Paulson’s sole objective was not America but saving his beloved Goldman and the other fat-cat banks from wholesale bankruptcy … back then when Washington and Wall Street were overwhelmed, blinded, Naomi Klein, author of Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, accurated predicted another bubble/collapse for America:

“Free market ideology has always been a servant to the interests of capital … During boom times it’s profitable to preach laissez faire, because an absentee government allows speculative bubbles … When those bubbles burst, the ideology becomes a hindrance and goes dormant while big government rides to the rescue.” Then, free-market “ideology will come roaring back when the bailouts are done. The massive debts the public is accumulating to bail out the speculators will then become part of a global budget crisis.”

Cosmic market timing signal? “Death of America’s Soul?” Maybe both?
Stone may not fully understand his powers to see the future, but collectively, Stone, Klein, Ferguson, Diamond and many others do “see” the future. They see the lifecycles of societies, nations, empires and civilizations rise and collapse on rather predictable time schedules averaging 200 years. Yes, they “see” what Wall Street never “sees” because Wall Street’s DNA, their optimism, their animal instinct, focuses them narrowly on kill-zone opportunities, heightening their trading senses, blocking out dangers, risks, threats, as attack new market timing signals. Yes, 1987’s history may well be repeating in 2010. So you better be asking yourself: Is Oliver Stone traders the biggest stock market timing signal of 2010” Of the decade? Are you prepared? Or blind, in denial?

Original in MarketWatch.com

9 Responses to Oliver Stone’s New ‘Wall Street’ Film: Market-Timing Signal for ‘Crash of 2010?’ Or the ‘Death of America’s Soul?’ Michael Lewis Discovers Both for Vanity Fair
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