Frank SanPietro

Frank SanPietro is a Certified Financial Planner™

Frank SanPietro

“Money Monsters”..and Other Mythical Creatures

Believe it or Not..When Grimm’s FairyTales were first published, they were criticized as being “unsuitable for chidren”…..

And for good reason; you see our pair of author brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm were trying to provide cautionary tales to Der Kinder.   However, it’s hard to offer dire warnings absent graphic descriptions of the perils awaiting those who fail to heed Mama and Papa.  Hence, we hear about evil witches cooking children,  and blood thirsty wolves pursuing young maidens.  And all to illustrate (among other points) the importance of not straying from home.   These type of “object lessons embedded in a story” have been a literary staple throughout human history and across virtually every culture.

So, it’s no surprise that we are getting  a modern version in the new George Clooney and Julia Roberts movie “Money Monster”.   And much like the Brothers Grimm, the tellers of this modern monster tale rely on a highly emotional, though implausible wicked villain as the personification and source of all evil.

Look OUT for those evil I-Bankers, kids…..

However, where the brothers pointed to evil dwarfs and wicked stepmothers, our modern tale has as it’s central embodiment of evil..wait for it…those Wall Street Guys.   In a stunningly broad generalization, the anti-hero of the movie, featured prominently in the tv ads, tells us that he’s here to get back the “800 million dollars that you wall street clowns lost”. Of course, he’s fully entitled to undertake this act of terrorism, because he’s going after the “real bad guys”.    Never mind that the reasons for the last market downturn were varied, complicated and had more than a little to do with government policies (both fiscal and monetary).  Further ignore the fact that there’s no such thing as “those Wall Street Guys”.  The financial services industry is one of the largest in our country and the world .  Here in the USA, there are approximately 6 million people (of both genders and every race/ethnicity) working in the industry.

The point (which I will discuss in greater depth in future posts) is this … complicated problems have complex causes and very few plain answers.  While it may make for interesting viewing, I wonder if this modern tale of  “the Big Bad Wolf of Wall Street” will mislead and misinform current and future generations about some really important topics…like saving and investing for one’s retirement.

And that wouldn’t be anyone’s idea of happily ever after…….

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think..

Full Disclosure – I haven’t seen the movie yet, and am basing this post on the trailer.  Future posts will include my thoughts following my having viewed the movie

About the Author: Frank SanPietro is a Doctoral Candidate in Business Administration /Finance at the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis.


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