The people who once would have been gangsters can now be found in the darker corners of finance
I suspect that many readers of the Financial Times will find something objectionable in Martin Scorsese’s latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street. Running at three hours, it explores the pleasures of snorting cocaine, swallowing sedatives, lying, stealing, cursing, cheating on your wife, hiding money in Switzerland, taking part in orgies and dwarf tossing.
But for anyone interested in business – and the way it is practised in New York – the movie is food for thought. Mr Scorsese is a leading chronicler of the American underworld, and he has documented a disturbing chapter in its evolution. The auteur himself has noticed that the kinds of people who used to do terrible things in his old mob films have found profitable homes in the darker corners of finance.