Gordon Gekko


DEFINITION of 'Gordon Gekko'

A fictional character who played the villain in the popular 1980s Oliver Stone movie Wall Street. Gekko's character, a ruthless and wildly wealthy investor and corporate raider, has become a cultural symbol for greed, as epitomized by the famous Wall Street quote, "Greed . . . is good." For his portrayal of Gekko's character, Michael Douglas won an Oscar.

BREAKING DOWN 'Gordon Gekko'

Gekko's character was not specifically based on any real-life person, but is said to have been loosely modeled on junk-bond king Michael Milken, who went to prison on racketeering and fraud charges. Gekko's greed monologue is said to be based on a real-life commencement speech Ivan Boesky gave at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1986.

  1. Racketeering

    Racketeering refers to criminal activity that is performed to ...
  2. Corporate Raider

    An investor who buys a large number of shares in a corporation ...
  3. Junk Bond

    A colloquial term for a high-yield or non-investment grade bond. ...
  4. Michael Milken

    As an executive at investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. ...
  5. Wall Street

    1. A street in lower Manhattan that is the original home of the ...
  6. Black Money

    Money earned through any illegal activity controlled by country ...
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