Tonight, the good old days of Wall Street are back. Cinema Reagan is presenting Oliver Stone's 1987 movie Wall Street, along with a guest lecture by Lehman Brothers senior V.P. turned playwright Marcus Haupt. We asked him a little bit about everyone's favorite bankers, real and fictional.
We read that you blame Gordon Gekko for everything. Is the financial collapse his fault?
No! That's like saying it's the Cat in the Hat's fault. It couldn’t be Gordon Gekko’s fault because he’s a fictional character. You can't blame real events on fictional characters. It's like blaming Santa Claus.
Dick Fuld was kind of … Gordonian, though, wasn't he?
No, absolutely not. It's completely different. Gordon Gekko is the old Lehman. Dick Fuld comes from the sales and trading side, not from the banking side. It’s a different animal altogether. Plus, Gordon Gekko is involved in criminal activity. I am not aware of any criminal activity on Dick Fuld's part.
You got out of Lehman before it went under, so what are you working on now?
Right now I’m a playwright. I’ve written several plays. One of them has some references to Wall Street.
Would you go back to banking?
I have no inclination to return to Wall Street at this point in my life. I'm lucky; it's really hard for a lot of people to walk away from. Most of the people who I know in banking are still in it and they’re still looking for a job, because it sets you for a baseline of what you need to survive in a lot of ways — financially and emotionally and psychologically. It kind of becomes a lifestyle. American Psycho is, actually, probably, a much more realistic depiction of Wall Street than Wall Street is.
Ask the tough questions live tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. at DCTV, 87 Lafayette Street (between White and Walker), 212-925-3429.