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Gordon Gekko


Gordon Gekko is not a financial term, but a famous fictional character from the movie “Wall Street,” released in 1987. Played by Michael Douglas, Gekko is a ruthless and incredibly successful Wall Street trader often associated with greed and unethical business practices. This character is iconic in popular culture and often referenced in discussions about business ethics and financial market behavior.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Gordon Gekko” is: “Gor-dun Geh-koh”

Key Takeaways

  1. Gordon Gekko is a fictional character from the movie Wall Street (1987), directed by Oliver Stone and stands as one of the iconic depictions of 1980s excess and unregulated ambition within the financial world.
  2. The character, portrayed by actor Michael Douglas, represents greed and manipulation in the financial industry. His famous phrase “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good” encapsulates his philosophy.
  3. In the movie, Gekko serves as an antagonist, using his wealth and influence to manipulate the stock market for his own gain, exhibiting unethical and illegal business practices, and showing little remorse for his actions.


Gordon Gekko is not a business/finance term, but rather a fictional character from the 1987 film “Wall Street.” Portrayed by Michael Douglas, Gekko’s character is seen as a symbol of financial excess, unethical and illegal trading practices, and corporate greed. His quote, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” has become iconic and synonymous with the unethical business practices of the 1980s. Gekko’s character provides important commentary on the potential dangers and downsides of unregulated financial activities and greed-driven decision-making in the corporate and financial world.


Gordon Gekko is not a finance or business term, but rather a character in the movie “Wall Street” directed by Oliver Stone, depicting the high-stakes world of finance and investment. Played by Michael Douglas, Gekko is a high-powered, ruthless corporate raider and Wall Street tycoon, who uses his skills and resources to manipulate stock prices for his financial gain. The character epitomizes the culture of greed and unethical business practices that were often associated with Wall Street during the 1980s, hence the famous quote in the movie: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”Though Gekko is a fictional character, he represents a very real aspect of the financial world: the potential for unscrupulous behavior in pursuit of wealth. His tactics in the movie, such as insider trading and corporate raiding, have been unfortunately mirrored in real life in numerous high-profile circumstances. Hence, when someone is referred to as a “Gordon Gekko” type, it signifies that the person could be ruthless, ambitious, and possibly unethical in their business practices. The character serves as a reminder of the dire consequences that can occur when greed overtakes ethical considerations in business.


“Gordon Gekko” isn’t a business/finance term. It’s a fictional character from the 1987 movie “Wall Street” directed by Oliver Stone. Gordon Gekko is portrayed by Michael Douglas and he’s known for his phrase “Greed is good.” The character symbolizes unrestrained greed and unethical behavior in finance.However, if you’re looking for real-world examples that mirror the behavior of the character Gordon Gekko, here are three:1. Bernie Madoff: He operated the largest Ponzi scheme in history, defrauding thousands of investors out of billions of dollars. His actions echoed the unscrupulous behavior and greed characterized by Gordon Gekko in Wall Street.2. Enron Scandal: The actions of the top executives at Enron, engaging in accounting fraud to present the firm as being more profitable than it actually was, were reminiscent of Gordon Gekko’s approach to business – unethical and greedy.3. The Subprime Mortgage Crisis in 2008: Mortgage and financial industries pushed risky loans to inflate housing prices and their profits, leading to a significant economic downturn. This instance of mass-level greed mirrors the “greed is good” mentality of Gordon Gekko.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Who is Gordon Gekko?

Gordon Gekko is a fictional character from the 1987 film Wall Street directed by Oliver Stone. He is a Wall Street corporate raider and is played by Michael Douglas, who won an Oscar for the role.

What is Gordon Gekko famous for saying?

Gekko is best known for his phrase Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. This encapsulates the philosophy of the 1980s excessive, unethical Wall Street culture.

Does Gordon Gekko represent real Wall Street culture?

Gordon Gekko is a fictional character, but he was designed to embody the worst aspects of Wall Street in the 1980s. While not all traders and financiers behave like Gekko, some aspects of his character were inspired by real individuals and events.

Who was the inspiration for the character of Gordon Gekko?

Director Oliver Stone shaped the character based largely on several actual financiers, including Carl Icahn, Ivan Boesky, and Michael Milken, who were prominent figures during the 1980s.

How has Gordon Gekko impacted finance and business culture?

Despite being a villain, Gekko has become something of an icon in the world of finance. His character is often referenced as a symbol of unregulated greed and corruption. Notably though, some have misinterpreted his ‘greed is good’ philosophy, viewing it as a validation of unchecked capitalism.

Does Gordon Gekko appear in other movies or books?

Gordon Gekko reappears as a character in Wall Street’s 2010 sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps , once again played by Michael Douglas.

What happens to Gordon Gekko in the Wall Street movies?

In the first movie, Gekko’s illegal and unethical business methods are exposed and he ends up in prison. In the sequel, we see Gekko after his release, trying to re-establish his financial empire and reconcile with his estranged daughter.

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