Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street was as much an answer to as a parody of a mind change that had pervaded the world since Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher came to power in their respective nations.
But in the upper echelons Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is Good” was never truly seen as a parody, just as the message of the film was completely lost on the people it was about. And still is. It’s too convenient when justifying your behavior to yourself and others, like Ayn Rand is again today. The world is full of people who still today will sing the praises of the Iron Lady and The Great Communicator, of the Falklands and Grenada.
Reagan and Thatcher made it acceptable, nay, hip, to borrow one’s way (back) to wealth, or the illusion thereof, and a little cheating and lying was sort of alright on your way to the top provided you lied and cheated while you were already a mover and a shaker. That mindset has never left us anymore.