Without a doubt, the Wall Street climate is unbearably grueling. The drive to make the most amount of money in an environment where money is everything is overwhelming. This determination can occasionally bring people to do things they normally wouldn't do in order to get ahead of the competition. The idea of doing whatever it takes to advance in an industry, while not always ethical, does not have to be illegal. Unfortunately, the majority of the time, greed outweighs ethics and lines between right and wrong, legal and illegal are blurred. Even those with the highest degrees of education can fall into this trap, thus knowing what is the right thing to do and actually doing the right thing are two very different concepts. Ethics education can only carry a person so far; real-world applications are all based on the moment and can differ significantly from what is learned in the classroom. Knowing and doing are two distinct actions and when combined they become a true test of one's character. Knowing what is right and doing what is right unfortunately do not always go hand in hand as they should and can eventually lead to the fatal end of a career. .
The 1987 film, Wall Street, is the perfect example of knowing what is right and doing what is right in the financial context. Young stockbroker, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) makes one small decision that drastically changes his career, but he embraces the power of success, which becomes his greatest downfall. The movie is set during the 1980s in New York City, a thriving time for those on Wall Street. In an article comparing both Wall Street films, the author conveys "the 1980s was a decade signified by opulence and nowhere was the American dream more present at the time than on Wall Street " (Kulikowski). Many people were making an insane amount of money, buying, selling, and liquidating stocks, caught up in the concept that "greed, for lack of a better word, is good " (Wiser and Stone).