The best trading movies and series
Who doesn't like the plan: film, series, documentary, sofa, popcorn, chips, alone or with company? And if it's raining or you just feel like relaxing, resting or simply disconnecting?
At Canal Trader we propose a perfect plan for a weekend: a list of movies and series/documentaries that have brought the world of Trading to the screen. As well as enjoying the plot, maybe you can learn the ins and outs, and discover some secrets and other realities (some more real and others more exaggerated) about the world of the stock market. So, 3, 2, 1... Action, and enjoy!
Trading Places - 1983 Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) a high-class executive and successful broker, and Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) a street hustler, unwittingly swap places as a result of a social experiment by the villainous Duke brothers. Winthorpe is framed for a crime he didn't commit and the brothers put Valentine in his place. When Winthorpe and Valentine reveal the plan, they prepare to exact revenge on the Dukes.
Wall Street I & II - 1987 and 2010 An ambitious young stockbroker, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), seeks success under the tutelage of an insensitive and very calculating man, Gordon Gekko. Played by Michael Douglas, an ambitious financial shark whose only goal is to make as much money as he can. When nothing else matters, insider trading is a powerful tool.
Pi: The Order of Chaos (Pi) - 1998 Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) is a mathematician who is on the verge of decoding the numerical system of the stock market. First, however, he must find the value of the number pi. A Wall Street firm and a Jewish cult will pursue Max to get their hands on his discovery.
The Rogue Trader - 1999 Film based on the real life of trader Nick Leeson (Ewan McGregor), famous for bankrupting Baring Bank, Britain's oldest bank. Leeson is sent to Singapore and becomes one of Barings top traders. Through a forgotten account in the accounting system, 88888, he begins to hide the huge losses incurred and mistakes made by his team, and ends up losing $1.4 billion through unauthorised futures trading on the Singapore stock exchange.
The Boiler Room - 2000 An ambitious young man, Seth Davis (Giobanni Ribisi), gets a job as a broker at a financial brokerage firm, JT Marlin, where the only thing that counts is making money. He soon finds himself in a compromising situation and sees the company's culture of corruption to get money, no matter what.
The Price of Greed (Margin Call) - 2011 Film based in the hours leading up to the crash of the 2008 US financial crisis. Junior risk analyst Seth Bregman (Penn Badgley) discovers a serious problem with the company's finances. He, along with the bank's other employees, will see a temporary human resources team, hired by the company, carry out a mass layoff without warning.
The Wolf of Wall Street - 2014 Film based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Tells the story of a young man eager to make money as a New York stockbroker who becomes an executive at the investment firm Stratton Oakmon and refuses to cooperate in a securities fraud case involving Wall Street corruption, merchant banking and mob infiltration.
The Big Short - 2015 Recreation of Michael Lewis's book reflecting how four visionaries in the early 2000s predicted the credit and housing bubble, and discovered that the big banks, the media and the government refused to acknowledge the collapse of the economy, and also foresaw the subprime mortgage crisis that hit the US in 2008, betting on the downside when everyone else was doing the opposite.
Best series and documentaries:
Enron, the guys who ripped off America - 2005. A documentary based on the book by two Fortune reporters, it follows the rise of Enron's investors who got rich on the profits they made from the California energy crisis, and how they fell to their demise.
Inside Job - 2010 Documentary about the 2008 financial crisis in the United States that explains the corruption of the system in the financial services industry and what the consequences were.
Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street - 2010 Documentary that analyses the automated programmes (mathematics and programming) used by the financial system, and how it has become increasingly dependent on quantifying human and economic behaviour, as well as the enormous risks involved.
Billions - 2016 - Netflix A must-see American series about the workings of mutual funds and their legal and illegal underbelly, and the historic rivalry between federal prosecutor Chuck Rhoades and Bobby "Axe" Axelrod, a mutual fund manager at AXE Capital.
Betting on zero - 2016 Documentary that tells the story of Bill Ackman, one of the world's most followed and most media-acclaimed investors, focusing on his fight and short bet against Herbalife.
Dirty Money - 2018 - Netflix Documentary series reflecting scandals and cases of corruption or malpractice by investors, listed companies or governments.
Becoming Warren Buffet - 2017 - HBO Documentary that takes a look at the life and career of Warren Buffet.
And if you're still hungry for more, here are some titles you can't miss: Panic on Wall Street (1993), Working Girl (1988), The Insider (1999), Too Big to Fail (2011), Capital (2012), The Outsider (2016), The Wizard of Lies (2017), The Billionaire Boys Club (2018) and Self Made (2020 - Netflix).
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