26 March 2019
Wall Street is an eight block area in New York City, which has made “New York the most powerful financial city in the world”, according to Huw Jones from Reuters.com. The influence of money and power in stock trading can make people become crooks. Some of the most influential banks in the world are controlled by few leaders, ending in these leaders having extreme amounts of power. In The Lord of The flies after a plane crash boys 7-12 are left on an island without any laws or parents. On the Island there is a battle over who has the ultimate power, ultimately leading in boys doing unethical actions to acquire the power. These two examples dementonstates how power corrupts people and makes people commit inhumane and unethical actions.
In 2008, a well known stock trader Bernie Madoff was caught for fraudulent, after years in being in the stock exchange world.“A well-respected financier, Madoff convinced thousands of investors to hand over their savings, falsely promising consistent profits in return.” He had made 65 billion dollars from his investors, most of that going into his own pocket. He would persuade people to give them their whole savings and then keep it for himself. In 2008 he was charged with 150 years in prison. A major reason why he was undetected for so long was because he was very respected and was a very powerful member of the financial world in New York. He helped launch the Nasdaq Stock Market which is the world's second largest stock exchange, because of this he was viewed as a leader and held major power. Knowing that he had so much power he committed illegal actions because he knew he would never get caught.
Jack was a leader of the boys at the end of the book, except for Ralph and Piggy. Ralph never wanted Jack to become Chief because he believed that he had committed savage actions. But Jack was willing to do anything to become chief, and even hurt other boys on the island.He threw a boulder which ended up impaling piggy. After Piggy’s death, Golding writes “ See? See? That what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone-I’m chief!”(181) Just like Madoff, Jack had committed an inhumane action and wasn’t seen any less of a leader to their followers. Jack didn’t feel any sorrow for Piggy because he had a rush from having so much power. Madoff and Jack are very similar in the degree that they were lead by the need of power. With that constant need in their heads they didn’t think their actions through which lead to destruction of people's lives.
Jordan Belfort the inspiration of Wolf of Wall Street shows the dynamic of power and the inhumane abilities it has on people. Jordan Belfort had a company called Stratton Oakmont that was worth just over 1 billion dollars. On Warrior Trading.com they write“Stratton Oakmont employed 1,000 traders who were responsible for issuing stocks that totaled over 1 billion dollars. These fraudulent actions cost investors millions of dollars.” The way they got so much money was through selling penny stock, penny stocks are shares of public companies at very low prices. Jordan Belfort and his team would sell and promote penny stock. Which then would make raise the value of the penny stock. When he sold all the penny stock he would drop the stock from his company. When doing this he would gain millions of dollars while his investors would lose a lot of money. He was finally arrested and spent twenty-two months in prison. But he had done this for years and represented huge brands like Steve Madden. He never felt guilt for the companies that he represented or his investors since he was on such a high of power. He let power get to his head, which ultimately lead to the downfall of him in the financial world and his company.
In Lord of the Flies, Jack had always wanted to become a leader, and always wanted to acquire more and more power. Jack was always on a quest to kill a pig to get food and to show his leadership abilities.“ The mask was a thing on it own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness. (64)” At the beginning of the book, Ralph was chosen as the main leader between him and Jack. Throughout the first half of the book the boys were in desperate need of food, and everybody wanted to kill the pig. Jack thought that killing this pig would make himself look like a more capable leader. He did anything to kill this pig, going to the degree of wearing face paint to attract this pig. Even though he was killing the pig to feed the boys, he did the killing in a very gruesome manner, and slit the pig's throat. He had done actions which we would view as gruesome and inhumane to require the power that he believed he deserved.
Power has the ability to corrupt a mind. When you believe you are on top of the world, and have control over so many people you believe that you can do anything. Madoff and Belfort knowling committed crimes,but didn’t think twice because they benefited from those actions. Jack knew that killing another boy, and gruesomely killing a pig was something immoral, and yet still did it to possess power. We have a part of our brain that always want us to be the best of the best, which makes people associate with having power over other people. Human always crave power for the urge of power. Humans will do anything to be on top of the world.
Golding, William, and Donna Reardon. Lord of the Flies. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1954.
Jones, Huw. “United States Top, Britain Second in Financial Activity: Think-Tank.” Reuters,
Thomson Reuters, 4 Sept. 2018, www.reuters.com/article/us-survey-markets/united-states-top-britain-second-in-financial-activity-think-tank-idUSKCN1LK2TM.
Yang, Stephanie. “5 Years Ago Bernie Madoff Was Sentenced to 150 Years In Prison – Here's
How His Scheme Worked.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 1 July 2014, www.businessinsider.com/how-bernie-madoffs-ponzi-scheme-worked-2014-7.
“Jordan Belfort: How He Became the Wolf of Wall Street.” Warrior Trading, Warrior Trading, 12June 2018, www.warriortrading.com/jordan-belfort-wolf-wall-street/.