Last weekend, my fiance and I went and saw “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Although the plot had a few flaws, I really enjoyed it. What took me by surprise was how current it is and how much of the plot is based on the beginning of our country’s recession.
The movie is a sequel to the 1987 film “Wall Street,” but this film is set just a few years ago, right when the economy first buckled. It shows the despair felt by the first major investment firm that realized it was going down and the panic it caused the stock market. It also shows the private meetings between the Fed and its board of bankers and investors who discuss the concept of “too big to fail” for the first time.
The subplot involves Michael Douglas’s character, Gordon Gekko. He has just been released from prison where he was serving a decade for insider trading and other white-collar crime. He has an estranged daughter whose new fiance is an up-and-coming Wall Street businessman who works at the firm that is the first to collapse. Gekko wants to reconcile with his daughter, but we are led to question what his motives are (hint hint: It has to do with money). The young fiance is also learning some harsh lessons about the injustices of the business world.
The movie concludes by making the case that much of our current economic system is unsustainable and will continue causing cycles of bubbles and bursts if left unchanged. The narrator reminds us that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I’m interested to see if President Obama’s Wall Street reform initiatives will produce different results.
On that note, I hope you will read on for my roundup of my favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week. Enjoy!
1. Identity theft can cost you major money and time, and it can also damage your credit and reputation. The Digerati Life lists some of the paid credit monitoring services and offers tips on protecting your credit for free.
2. Bargaineering offers some tips on how to switch your main credit card without ruining your credit.
3. Clever Dude describes the attitude you must adopt for getting yourself out of debt and explains the importance of visualizing yourself debt-free.
4. Dinks Finance questions how secure credit cards are and discusses the safer chip-and-PIN technology we might all be using soon in the United States.
5. Enemy of Debt offers a guest post about how to teach kids about money and some of the most important messages to pass on, such as using credit sparingly.
6. A wise guest post on Bible Money Matters emphasizes that money isn’t innately problematic, but our interactions with it are. She also provides several tips for living a more balanced financial life.
7. I Pick up Pennies explains her frustration after reading an article about how debt really isn’t decreasing in America and might actually be increasing.
8. Need a long-term way to save money? WiseBread outlines the benefits of getting rid of your car and advice on making the process easier.
9. Think you’re an expert on credit? Read PT Money’s list of five of the biggest myths about credit scores and see where you stand.
10. A guest post on Frugal Dad criticizes our current debt culture and debunks some of the myths about credit.