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Posted In: Over the past few months, I have watched countless films about finance, from movies to documentaries to television programs.
My aim: to identify the top 20 films on the basis of both their entertainment value and their educational value.
Putting this list together has been a sobering exercise that has led me to an unfortunate yet inescapable truth: If the silver screen is any guide, financial professionals, particularly those working on Wall Street, have had a serious public relations problem since long before the global financial crisis of 2008.
Only a single film that made my list,depicts a finance professional in a positive light — and that film was released in 1946.
And our ownpublished last month, found that just a slim and fragile majority of the 2,100 retail and institutional investors surveyed said they trust investment managers.
What has also struck me about depictions of finance in the movies is how very few films, particularly among the documentaries, suggest how to fix the industry and the financial system —.
If I missed one of your favorite finance films, leave me a comment — and let me know what lesson s you took away from it.
I hope that viewing even just a few of these films can help inform the public conversation and debate that is so sorely needed about both the and the of our industry.
Viewer discretion is advised.
It should be noted, though, that while the hero of this classic film runs a community savings and loan, his arch-nemesis is a banker.
Released in 1946, the year after World War Casino raiders 2020 srt formally ended, it is both the oldest and the only black-and-white film on my list.
While in a heated argument with his powerful business rival Henry F.
But neither you nor anyone else can say anything casino raiders 2020 srt his character, because his whole life.
People were human beings to him.
With his financial institution in ruins and his heart broken, Bailey attempts suicide, and some powerful forces are stirred into action.
Interestingly, the popularity of this movie prompted prominent economist Laurence Kotlikoff to name his 2010 casino raiders 2020 srt />The executive falls apart in his life on the street, while the hustler thrives as a commodities broker.
The brothers, as well as the hustler and the executive, bet on orange juice futures contracts, anticipating the findings of an impending government report about the orange crop.
As the brothers go long, the hustler and the executive go short.
Always go for the throat.
Buy low, sell high.
On the one hand, the filmmakers seem to be in awe of the high life and relatively young age of the traders.
On the other hand, they do not hide that they largely view these traders as gamblers.
The documentary shows the traders in action, going long and short, quickly taking and closing large positions to cash in on narrow price movements.
These traders are not working from any economic analysis but, rather, mostly their hunches about what other traders are doing.
It includes interviews with Robert Merton and Myron Scholes, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1997.
The Nobel Prize could not be given to Fischer Black, who died in 1995.
The effect of the formula on financial markets was far reaching.
The combination of mathematics and money, casino raiders 2020 srt seemed, was unstoppable.
When LTCM fell, it had losses so large that it became a systemic threat and had to be bailed out, bringing financial losses and lingering embarrassment to its owners.
Albert Einstein warned against it.
It shows how the brutally competitive and in-person floor trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange worked.
There are a number of surprising quirks to the culture.
Floor traders had their cliques, based on which part of the city they lived in or their ethnicity or even their religion.
Many traders earned a living by trading on their own account.
While the film is about floor trading in Chicago, some of its lessons can be safely generalized to markets around the world that underwent the same change.
It features the analyst, the day trader, the options broker, the stockbroker, the fund manager, the dealmaker, and more.
Men and women of different ethnicities and from different countries of origin — they are all on Wall Street to compete and to win.
As the title suggests, their work is not just a job.
It is so competitive — and the financial and emotional stakes so high — that they feel as if they are fighting a war.
These Wall Street warriors have one thing in common: They are all pursuing lots of money and taking on lots of stress.
While some of these films are pure invention, there are a simply virtual casino complaints sorry of documentaries in this group as well as a couple of films based on real-life scandals.
The film is about making fast money, and a lot of it, through insider trading.
In its depth and intensity, this film towers above the finance films that came soon before or after, like 1986; 99 minutes; options trading and 1988; 115 minutes; mergers and acquisitions.
It is hard to find a list of top finance films that does not have this one at or near the top — and the iconic status of the villain, Gordon Gekko, raises troubling questions about the finance industry.
Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
A manufacturing unit is facing obsolescence, and the question is whether the unit and the jobs it has created will be liquidated to satisfy the shareholders or whether there is some way to return it to profitability.
The film has a number of finance lessons to offer, particularly in company valuation.
You wanna make money!
It is based on.
It is a story of greed, egos, lust for luxury, high stakes, and treachery.
After the expensive failure of a smokeless cigarette, the CEO of RJR Nabisco draws up plans to buy the company outright.
But an influential LBO guru, who initially gave the CEO the idea for the LBO, is unhappy that the CEO is using his idea without involving him, and they end up in a bidding war.
Not with their rules.
Never play by the rules, never tell the truth, and never pay in cash.
Once the star trader of Barings, he lost more than a billion dollars through unauthorized futures trading on the Singapore exchange.
The film shows that his superiors had deluded themselves into believing that Leeson was earning large profits by putting their meaningless management-speak into action.
That he was not subjected to the usual checks and balances between the front office and the back office helped Leeson hide what he was doing.
The culture at Barings was this web page part of the problem: While greed was not officially good at Barings, being good was not good enough.
Employees like Leeson had to keep swinging for the fences.
Marlin to its batch of young recruits.
If Wall Street explains insider trading, this one explains the.
Money is everything for these guys, and they make their money by closing sales.
A sale is made on every call you make.
Either way, a sale is made.
He joins the dodgy brokers and discovers his inner salesman.
Interestingly, these stockbrokers act as if they are not practicing fraud but, rather, are performing the art of sales at the highest level.
Today, it is all pervasive.
Featuring a number of interviews with prominent thinkers, the documentary digs deep into the ideas underlying corporations, contrasting the natural person human with the legal person the corporation and exploring why some large, profit-hungry companies seem to have little regard for society and the environment.
It is the story of Enron turning real losses into fictional profits through accounting fraud.
How Enron was making its money was a mystery that no one seemed to question.
The documentary features a number of interviews, including those with former Enron executives and employees as well as financial analysts.
As the film explains, Enron easily fooled everyone, including the financial analysts on Wall Street.
The bank has large and leveraged speculative positions that are facing so much volatility that the losses could be greater than its market value.
Despite what the title of the film may suggest, there is in fact no margin call issued to or by the institution.
The risks are complex, and only one risk analyst with a doctorate in rocket science can really understand them.
Ruthlessness to its own employees is another.
That is your opportunity.
Indeed, as he goes about firing people around him, he is worried about his sick dog, the only thing in the world to which he seems to have any emotional connection.
The please click for source boss at the bank shares a similar disdain for other human beings.
So that we may survive.
After serving jail time for what happened in the prequel, Wall Street, the former insider is now an outsider.
Now it seems it is legal.
Because everybody is drinking the same Kool-Aid.
Rather than blatantly violate the law as Gekko did in Wall Street, the young financier in this film prefers to work around it.
Luck and design pit him against the same billionaire who is the enemy of Gekko.
What is driving these people?
Is it money, is it love, or is it simply madness?
A key lesson from this documentary is the same as that from history in general: This time is not so different; it has happened before — and more than once.
We need only read history to find out.
It was the idea that you could rely on people to borrow money from you and pay it back at some future date.
The two-hour version of this documentary comprises six episodes, starting with the origin of credit and ending with globalization.
But it does make vast quantities of people, goods, and services go round the world from Babylon to Bolivia.
It does so in the context of the social cost of the financial crisis in the United States.
As the title suggests, it addresses a fundamental question that puzzles many: How come we are all in debt?
The principal writer and presenter in this documentary is the Islamic finance author and former bond-derivatives dealer.
But then we are told that the solution is that the banks lend more.
How can that be?
Taking a historical perspective, the film explains the origin of paper money, modern-day interest, and fractional reserve banking and its impact on the world around us.
It was caused by an out-of-control industry.
And they say the same thing.
Its title is a phrase that has entered into the popular lexicon because of the financial crisis.
Like Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, this docudrama covers the subject of moral hazard.
Wall Street has a gambling problem.
If government keeps covering their losses, they never learn anything.
Still, the film is unusual because it provides a reconstruction of the closed-door meetings of important real-life figures — such as the US Treasury Secretary, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, and heads of investment banks — as they negotiate the.
You have to follow the dialogue closely to know what is going on, which probably makes it more suitable for hard-core finance fans.
At the end of the film, viewers are told that the remaining Wall Street institutions are, once again, too big to fail.
More Films about Finance It was hard to decide where to cut off the list, and 20 is a rather arbitrary number.
Comedy: 1988; 115 minutes; mergers and acquisitions.
There are a lot more finance documentaries than nonfiction movies.
If you would like to explore more finance documentaries, you may want to visit.
International Films The films on my list tend to be from North America or Western Europe.
There clearly is room for films from other parts of the world.
It is, however, relatively difficult to find finance-themed international films that have English descriptions and subtitles.
Having said that, if you know of such films, please share them in the comments section below.
We would be delighted to hear your suggestions.
What do you think about how the industry is depicted by the media?
If you enjoyed this post, you should subscribe to Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.
Usman Hayat writes about sustainable, responsible, and impact investing and Islamic finance.
He is the lead author of "Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues in Investing: A Guide for Investment Professionals," and the literature review, "Islamic Finance: Ethics, Thanks. xbox 360 casino nights opinion, Practice.
Previously, he was a content director at CFA Institute.
He is a former executive director at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan SECP.
He has experience working in securities regulation and as an independent consultant.
His qualifications include the CFA charter, the FRM designation, an MBA, and an MA in Development Economics.
His personal interests are reading and hiking.
Thanks Usman, nice work!
Will definitively have a look or two at your recommendations.
And the next one Money Never Sleeps.
These are my two favorites.
Thank you for this whole list, will watch those, which I have not seen yet Ana, Thanks for visiting and posting your comment.
Our viewers have been divided on the Wolf of Wall Street.
It is unlikely to make it to such a list, given the reasons that other commentators have pointed out.
Usman, Can sorry, 1st class casino events error talk to you regarding this blog?
I am working on a movie script and would be helpful to know more on How this stocking process works The Wolf Of Wall Street, is on there.
Boiler Room is the original Wolf Of Wall Street, its the same story about the same guy, just with much less nudity.
I think everyone in the Financial sector should watch it.
Thanks for a very readable article that bridges the gap between professional laypeople.
I threw up a link to it from my site in hopes of increasing readership.
Keep up the great work.
Maybe the next file hero will be Usman Hayat.
Thanks a lot for your support James.
Some of these films can be a bit difficult to find but I hope you will be able to find most of them.
I have already seen Boiler Room and hopefully would watch few more on this list to educate myself.
BTW, imdb puts compiled lists of movies by people on their website.
Amir, Thank you for your kind comment and the tip about IMDB.
I am glad that the list has encouraged you to watch a few more of these films.
Debtocracy — Another good watch — I thoroughly enjoyed this movie…must watch.
You can ad this in your international edition.
Black swan is an epic and well penned piece of art and Nassim has given a unique philosophical insight to the subject.
Amina, Thank you for your kind comment.
Yes, I will be very keen to see a documentary based on Black Swan!
Ali, Thank you for your interest in the list.
Maybe not as entertaining as later movies, but at the time it was released it carried a very strong message.
Market manipulation not only in the trading pits was more or less commonplace, and casino raiders 2020 srt inequality was destinctive.
Thanks and regards, Chetan Chetan Shah, CFA Thank you for your kind comment.
How to get these films depends where you are based because, in my limited experience, their availability varies significantly by country.
Frankly, I also had a hard time getting some of these in the UK.
Good news is that some of the documentaries can probably be watched online for free.
Jayanta Saha Thank you for visiting the Enterprising Investor blog and taking interest in this post.
I have tried to confine the list to films that have a relatively direct connection with finance.
Thank you for the comment and the clip Christoph.
You might want to watch the Billion Dollar Bubble, if you can find it.
That was the Equities Funding scandal, They make life actuaries watch it for ethics training.
David Merkel Thanks for the suggesting Billion Dollar Bubble.
Alexandra Thank you for your comment.
I will give these films more thought as and when we update this blog post.
Meyan Fien Thanks for visiting our blog.
Been looking for something like this.
A documentary by Al jazeera i guess on the global financial crises.
Its quite educating too.
Seyi Thanks for the kind comment.
Yes, I will probably include Meltdown as and when I update this list.
Regards, JMJ JMJanssen Thanks for the kind comment.
I had a look at the trailer of Le Capital.
I will try to find it with English sub-titles.
Great examination of the fallout of a financial crisis and how different victims respond differently.
Incredible cast as well.
Mark Elam Thanks for visiting the blog and posting your comment.
I will have another look at The Company Men, when I update this list.
Based in the world of British subprime mortgage lending and also at the higher financial levels of the City of London, it examines the financial crisis of 2008.
Very disappointed with The Wolf of Wall Street…a good title gone waste.
I was hoping for a glimpse of working of Financial industry and players, rather got an overdose of Excesses of abuse of Human senses — it was unfortunately mostly about Drugs and Sex rather than Finance.
Novin Soni, Thanks for visiting the blog and sharing your views.
Yes, there are some convincing reasons why the Wolf of Wall Street is not meant to be included in this list.
How about Pursuit of Happyness?
It shows a great deal about personal finance and the intense competition in the job market.
Thanks for visiting the blog and posting your comment.
Thanks for visiting the blog and sharing your comments Raj.
One thing I noticed when watching Margin Call that there was no margin call made in the movie.
Its funny how the title can be so unrelated to the contents in some films.
Great banker characters, great trading floor routine reconstruction.
Mario Mahome Thanks for visiting the blog and posting your comment.
I teach film studies and will be doing a 3 film series on feature films about Wall Street.
Thanks for the tip.
P Cassidy Yes, I agree, it is very difficult to make a short list from the many movies and many many documentaries that related to finance.
I will have a look at The Crash when I get to update this list.
Thanks for visiting and sharing your comment, great to listen to our readers.
Hi Usman Hayat, Very good list.
Devdatta, Glad to know you found the list useful.
Yes, that documentary about Enron is really worth watching.
Thanks for posting your comment, appreciated.
As your intro suggests, finance has a real PR problem.
Sure, finance can be a sexist and racist place to work, but that is true of anywhere.
Sure, there are some HBS frat boys who hit the strip clubs every casino raiders 2020 srt />I needed a shower afterwards.
AJF, Thanks for visiting our blog and leaving a comment.
I very much appreciate when our readers add their suggestions to the list of finance films worth watching.
Regards Usman Mahesh Mohan Thanks for the positive feedback.
I do not consider the Wolf of Wall Street to be a finance film on the same lines as the films included in this list.
Regards Usman Shahryar Hussain Thanks for visiting the blog.
Regards Usman Hi Usman, Great list you have there.
A drama movie about scam in korean stock market using pump and dump scheme on a stock following an acquisition of a random company.
Thanks for pointing it out.
Hey Usman, how about mid-80s film Quicksilver with Kevin Bacon.
He falls back on bike courier, then makes a comeback in the Pit.
The list looks strange — casino in goa surprisingly.
I read more than watching films.
Looking forward to seeing all the list after 4th June.
Reading through your write-up makes me wish I could start now.
It features terrorism as an instrument of cripple economic.
Thanks Usman Hayat, Wonderful work.
Your Hard-work is visible in this post.
Waiting for more Usman!
Usman Thank you very much for this work.
Really usefull for me.
I wonder if you have an apdate of this information.
I put something similar together but will be adding a few of these to my list.
Nice article, Financial analyst not only play with available resources but also with generating new with smart working.
Definitely i will watch the movies for inspiration.
Thanks Usman, You brilliantly compiled this list of finance films.
Many other films and lists were released in the meantime.
Why have you not returned to update it?
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