Going behind the familiar scenes of fast-moving numbers on fluorescent screens and frantically shouting, wildly gesticulating traders and brokers on the floor of the Stock Exchange, this documentary offers rare insights into the world's most important marketplace, where millions of dollars change hands in a matter of seconds, and the decisions can affect the world economy.
Chronicling activities and events at the New York Stock Exchange for nearly a year, the film features interviews with a variety of bond traders, brokers, financial consultants, hedge fund specialists, brokerage firm CEOs and other Wall Street veterans. They explain the nature of their jobs-including the peculiar sign language traders use to communicate over the deafening din of the trading floor-and how the stock market works, with trades of stocks, options and commodities made by brokers on behalf of their clients, and how these transactions determine where capital is allocated throughout the national and global economy.
These Wall Street workers also discuss how the market responds to the uncertainty of world events-in this instance the looming prospect of war with Iraq-and how they attempt to predict future developments that offer dangers or opportunities for investors. The film also visits the offices of leading investment and brokerage firms and shows an innovative "Demystifying Wall Street" educational program for schoolchildren from Harlem and the Bronx.
The financial decisions made on Wall Street are to a great extent a measurement of America's changing mood, a reflection of people's dreams, hopes, and fears. WALL STREET helps us begin to understand how the fluctuations of the market affect all Americans, whether or not we own stocks, or whether we have ever understood what all that shouting and gesticulating meant.
"Recommended! [The film] plunges the viewer into life on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Anyone thinking about a career on Wall Street should watch this film to find out what a typical day on the floor is like, and what personality traits and habits of mind will serve them best in such a job."—Educational Media Reviews Online
2004 Vancouver International Film Festival
"WALL STREET opens doors that usually remain closed...These personal, colorful statements make the insights of the film, with no narration, comprehensible even to laymen...The strikingly composed images succeed in putting even more of a spin on the thoughts of the speakers."—Neue Zürcher Zeitung