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Gordon Gekko Quotes From The Movie Wall Street

These Gordon Gekko quotes are some of the most iconic from the film. They illustrate Gekko’s views on greed and money, life, and America.

Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, is one of the main characters in the 1987 movie Wall Street. The character of Gekko is said to comprise several people, including Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, Carl Icahn, Asher Edelman, Michael Milken, and Lou Stone, to whom the film is dedicated.

Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is a young Wall Street broker who is trying to make his father, Carl Fox proud. Interestingly, Martin Sheen played the role of his son’s on-screen dad!

Gekko is a ridiculously wealthy human who has made most of his money owning and selling stocks and dismantling companies to make the most profit.

Bud Fox is determined to secure him as a client, so much so that he calls him 59 days straight and shows up to his office on his birthday with a box of Cuban cigars.

That day Gekko agrees to see him, after telling Fox that the dictionary should feature his picture under the word persistence.

It is clear from this first meeting, that Bud Fox is naive in the ways of the big players he is so desperate to emulate.

Keep reading these Gordon Gekko quotes, to relive some of the wittiest lines from this movie.

Don’t forget to also check out our collection of The Wolf of Wall Street quotes on success, money, and business.

Gordon Gekko quotes about greed and money

1. Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. — Gordon Gekko

2. Greed is right. Greed works. — Gordon Gekko

3. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge in mankind, and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much. — Gordon Gekko

4. Money never sleeps, pal. — Gordon Gekko

5. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock; he owns less than one percent. You own the company. That’s right, you, the stockholder. And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their luncheons, their hunting and fishing trips, their corporate jets, and golden parachutes. — Gordon Gekko

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6. Just made 800,000 in Hong Kong gold. It’s been wired to you. Play with it. — Gordon Gekko

7. I’m gonna make you rich, Bud Fox. Yeah. Rich enough, you can afford a girl like Darien. — Gordon Gekko

8. You see that building? I bought that building ten years ago. My first real estate deal. Sold it two years later, made an $800,000 profit. It was better than sex. At the time I thought that was all the money in the world. Now it’s a day’s pay. — Gordon Gekko

9. Greed captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. — Gordon Gekko

10. You’re walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place. — Gordon Gekko

Gordon Gekko quotes about America and wealth

11. The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. — Gordon Gekko

12. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. — Gordon Gekko

13. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? It’s the free market. And you’re a part of it. — Gordon Gekko

14. America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. — Gordon Gekko

15. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. — Gordon Gekko

Short Gordon Gekko quotes

16. Jesus, if this guy owned a funeral parlor nobody would die! — Gordon Gekko

17. The most valuable commodity I know of is information. — Gordon Gekko

18. I create nothing. I own. — Gordon Gekko

19. If you need a friend, get a dog. — Gordon Gekko

20. You’ve got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I’ve still got a lot to teach you. — Gordon Gekko

21. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. — Gordon Gekko

22. If you’re not inside, you’re *outside*! — Gordon Gekko

23. I beg your pardon, is that a proverb? — Gordon Gekko

24. It’s all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation. — Gordon Gekko

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25. I look at a hundred deals a day. I pick one. — Gordon Gekko

Insightful Gordon Gekko quotes

26. I don’t throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-Tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought. — Gordon Gekko

27. Ah, Jesus. I wish you could see this. Light’s coming up. I’ve never seen a painting that captures the beauty of the ocean at a moment like this. — Gordon Gekko

28. What’s worth doing is worth doing for money. — Gordon Gekko

29. It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero-sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another. — Gordon Gekko

30. Because it’s *wreckable*, alright? I took another look at it, and I changed my mind. — Gordon Gekko

31. You gonna tell me the difference between this guy and that guy is luck? [points at a bum and businessman] — Gordon Gekko

32. We are smart enough not to buy into the oldest myth running; love. A fiction created by people to keep them from jumping out of windows. — Gordon Gekko

33. You stop sending me information, and you start getting me some. — Gordon Gekko

Gordon Gekko quotes from the iconic fight scene with Bud Fox

34. I guess you think you taught the teacher a lesson that the tail can wag the dog huh? — Gordon Gekko

35. Did you think you could’ve gotten this far this fast with anyone else, huh? That you’d be out there dicking someone like Darien? — Gordon Gekko

36. You’d still be cold calling widows and dentists tryin’ to sell ’em 20 shares of some dog shit stock. I took you in. — Gordon Gekko

37. I opened the doors for you! Showed you how the system works! The value of information! How to *get it*! Fulham oil! Brant resources! Geodynamics! And this is how you fucking pay me back you COCKROACH? — Gordon Gekko

38. A NOBODY! — Gordon Gekko

39. I GAVE you Darien. I GAVE you your manhood. I gave you EVERYTHING! — Gordon Gekko

40. You could’ve been one of the great one’s Buddy. I looked at you and saw myself. Why? — Gordon Gekko

Sharp Gordon Gekko quotes

41. “A fisherman always sees another fisherman from afar.” –Gordon Gekko 

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42. “It’s not about the money.  It’s about the game between people.” –Gordon Gekko

43. “We make the rules, pal.” –Gordon Gekko

44. “Dump it.” –Gordon Gekko

45. “You’ve done good, but you gotta keep doing good.” -Gordon Gekko

46. “You don’t understand. I wanna be surprised. Astonish me, pal. New info. I don’t care where or how you get it, just get it.” –Gordon Gekko

47. “Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time.”” –Gordon Gekko 

48. “Ever wonder why fund managers can’t beat the S&P 500? ‘Cause they’re sheep, and sheep get slaughtered.” –Gordon Gekko

49. “Lunch is for wimps.” –Gordon Gekko

50. “It’s not always the most popular person who gets the job done.” –Gordon Gekko

Which of these Gordon Gekko quotes is your favorite?

Within the first few moments of watching the initial conversation between the pair, I looked at my husband and said, “Uh oh, that was insider trading!” To which he replied, “huh?” I have a degree in business and ethics and my husband is a computer programmer.

I knew instantly the dark path young Bud was going to walk trying to please Gordon Gekko, but it took my husband a smidge longer to catch on. Once the movie really gets going, there is no doubt that Fox is in trouble.

It is clear as he fights with his father, trying to convince him to urge the machinist union to support the buy-out of the airline. Bluestar is the stock that sent alarm bells during that first meeting between Gekko and Fox. After some hard words between father and son, Fox goes back and receives praise from Gekko.

However, the movie takes another twist when Fox learns of Gekko’s true intentions for the airline. The end of the movie features that iconic scene in the park, which has some of the most revealing quotes about who Gordon Gekko really is.

If you like financial dramas give this one a shot. It is well worth the money to rent it on VUDU or Amazon Prime Video!

Share your favorite Gordon Gekko quotes and lines from the movie with us in the comment section below!

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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