Monday, 7 September 2009

Turn those machines back on!

Randolph Duke: Now, some of our clients are speculating that the price of gold will rise in the future. And we have other clients who are speculating that the price of gold will fall. They place their orders with us, and we buy or sell their gold for them.

Mortimer Duke: Tell him the good part.

Randolph Duke: The good part, William, is that, no matter whether our clients make money or lose money, Duke & Duke get the commissions.

Mortimer Duke: Well? What do you think, Valentine?

Billy Ray: Sounds to me like you guys are a couple of bookies.

Randolph Duke: I told you he'd understand.

Trading Places, 1983

At the end of the glorious film Trading Places, Billy Ray Valentine and Winthorpe exact sweet revenge on the Duke Brothers by beating them at their own game on the Wall Street trading floor and taking them from fabulous wealth to ruin in a matter of minutes. After subjecting Billy Ray and Winthorpe to a ruthless “social experiment” for a bet worth just one dollar, it is a supremely satisfying conclusion. The greedy financiers who played fast and loose with a system they thought they owned were taught a hard lesson.

Ah, but.

It occurs to me a 21st century remake of Trading Places would be rather problematic, would it not? That satisfying ending might be somewhat ruined when the government decide Duke & Duke are “too big to fail” and provide them with a huge taxpayer funded “rescue”, resulting in Duke & Duke remaining in business and within months are gambling recklessly with investors money again and paying themselves huge bonuses. And laughing their tits off at the stupid pathetic proles paying for it all.

An ending that would, quite rightly, leave the audience furious, don’t you think?

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