Andrew Ross Sorkin Knows What Wall Street Needs to Do to Fix Its Reputation


Step One in fixing the colossal image problem the financial-services industry faces in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the Times columnist asserts today, is making an impression on the Right People. One man in particular:

If Wall Street is ever going to overcome the distrust that so much of the public has about the finance industry, it is going to have to win over the likes of Mr. Stone

Yep. Oliver Stone. Now, why should they spend their expensive time and attention wooing the director of Wall Street, a film that is largely regarded as having glorified the financial-services industry, as well as the upcoming burlesque musical that is Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, the release of which is so anticipated by said industry that a friend of ours yesterday likened it to "Sex and the City for bankers"? Because Stone has some very strong opinions of Wall Street, opinions that need refuting. “Goldman Sachs is evil," he tells the columnist, and furthermore, he adds, looking about the Grill Room of The Four Seasons, “You know, half the people in this place could be prosecuted.”

Sorkin reports:

In one corner was Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman of the Blackstone Group; Felix Rohatyn, a special adviser to the chairman of Lazard, was leaving as I was coming in, as was Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp. And Sanford Weill, the former chairman of Citigroup — “the mother of all evil,” Mr. Stone said with a wry smile — had just dashed out.

And remember, this is a man who thinks Hitler was misunderstood. If Lloyd, Steve, Barry, et al. want to make nice, they can start licking boots right now by buying up tickets for Money Never Sleeps. In theaters September 24.

A Walk Along Stone’s Wall Street [NYT]