A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 06, 2010
“Gridlock is good”

“Gridlock” is a term from the New York City streets, describing when the “grid” (intersection) is “locked” (full of cars unable to move). The term was popularized in 1980. “Legislative gridlock” occurs when there is a balance of power between the political parties and no legislation can get through.

The movie Wall Street (1987) popularized the line “Greed is good.” (The spoken line was actually: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.") By 1991-1993, “gridlock is good” became a popular phrase as Republicans and Democrats split legislative and executive power. Some critics said that legislative gridlock is good for the country and the stock market because spending bills are blocked. Other critics contend that legislative gridlock is not, historically, good for the stock market. The term “greed is good” became popular again in November 2010, when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives from Democrats.


Wikipedia: Gordon Gekko
Gordon Gekko is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the 1987 film Wall Street and the antihero of the 2010 film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, both by director Oliver Stone. Gekko was portrayed by actor Michael Douglas, in a performance that won him an Oscar for Best Actor for the first movie. He grew up on Long Island and went to City College. During the mid 1980s he had a rivalry with fellow corporate raider Sir Lawrence Wildman.

Co-written by Stone and screenwriter Stanley Weiser, Gekko is claimed to be based loosely on arbitrageur Ivan Boesky, who gave a speech on greed at the University of California, Berkeley in 1986, and real-life activist shareholder and corporate raider Carl Icahn. According to Edward R. Pressman, producer of the film, “Originally, there was no one individual who Gekko was modeled on,” he adds. “But Gekko was partly Milken”, who was the “Junk Bond King” of the 1980s, and indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and fraud in 1989.
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Greed Is Good Quote
Notwithstanding the popular cultural significance of the character (and the wide repetition of this particular quote), Gekko never actually uttered the words “Greed is Good” in the original Wall Street film. The full text of the quote is below:

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. 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 of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A.”

Wikipedia: Ivan Boesky
Ivan Frederick Boesky (born March 6, 1937) is an American stock trader who is notable for his prominent role in a Wall Street insider trading scandal that occurred in the United States in the mid-1980s.
(...)
In popular culture
The character of Gordon Gekko in the 1987 movie Wall Street is based at least in part on Boesky, especially regarding a famous speech he delivered on the positive aspects of greed at the University of California, Berkeley in 1986, where he said in part “I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself”.

22 November 1991, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “Political stalemate: Slow economy getting no help from Congress,” Business, pg. 1: 
To many economists, the gridlock is good news. Washington has a history of solving economic problems that are already on the way to being fixed.

13 August 1992, St. petersburg (FL) Times, “Money’s dirty work” by Martin Dyckman, pg. 17A:
Give us a break, Sen. Thomas. Gridlock is good.

Google News Archive
7 September 1992, Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal, Letters, pg. A8, col. 5:
In the case of a run-away spendthrift Congress, “gridlock” is good.
(Letter by C. Russell Farmer of Spartanburg—ed.)

Google News Archive
7 April 1993, Bryan (OH) Times, “Gridlock is good for you” by Mary McGrory, pg. 4, col. 5:
But the Republicans have a new mantra: Gridlock is good for you.

Google News Archive
29 April 1993, Ellensburg (WA) Daily Record, “Gridlock is good” by Adele Ferguson, pg. 4, col. 3:
It was when the Democrats really got serious about retaking control ofthe White House that they (Republicans—ed.) appropriated the word gridlock to mean the condition that exists when one party doesn’t have total power.

10 October 1994, Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution, “AMerica gags on gridlock,” pg. A8:
The idea that congressional gridlock is good for this country is preposterous.

Google Books
Money Adviser, 2001
By Andrew Feinberg
New York, NY: Money Books
2001
Pg. 12:
Gridlock is good for bonds. It’s a reality of politics that no politician is content to leave money lying around. Liberals usually find some worthy reason to expand social programs, while conservatives typically bulk up the military or return money to the voters through tax cuts (and those refunds are mostly spent by consumers).

Google Books
Do I Stand Alone?:
Going to the Mat Against Political Pawns and Media Jackals

By Jesse Ventura
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
2001
Pg. 26:
Many people think that government should support gridlock; they think gridlock is good. Maybe they’re confusing gridlock with checks and balances, or they think that legislation that’s held up in the legislature for a while will get all of the flaws shaken out of it before it passes.

U.S. News & World Report
For the Market, Gridlock’s Not So Great
By Paul J. Lim
Posted 11/8/06
Conventional wisdom says that the stock market loves gridlock in Washington, D.C.

So why didn’t Wall Street jump for joy after the Democrats took back control of the House of Representatives last night?

Google Books
Broke:
The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure

By Glenn Beck, Kevin Balfe
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
2010
Pg. 112:
GRIDLOCK IS GOOD? President Clinton and the Republican Congress’s biggest accomplishment may have been that they simply got out of the way. Government gridlock prevented either party from enacting expensive new programs, which, in turn, kept other federal spending relatively constant as a percentage of the GDP.

media Matters for America
Limbaugh: Gridlock is good “when you have an administration hellbent on destroying the nation’s economy”
November 05, 2010 1:25 pm ET
From the November 5 edition of Premiere Radio Network’s The Rush Limbaugh Show:...

American Thinker
November 06, 2010
Gridlock is good
K.E. Campbell
To butcher Gordon Gekko’s famous quotation, “Gridlock is good. Gridlock is right. Gridlock works. Gridlock—mark my words—will save the USA.” This is so, at least compared to the alternative of more “progressivism” and its offshoots, out-of-control spending and an assault on liberty.

DailyFinance
True or False: Political Gridlock Is Fuel for the Stock Market
By CHARLES WALLACE Posted 8:00 AM 11/07/10
Political gridlock may be bad for the country, but it’s good for the stock market, according to an old market adage. But wait: The results of the past 61 years don’t bear that out, says one student of the market. Yes they do, replies another market guru. Who’s right?
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Robert R. Johnson, managing director of the CFA Institute, a nonprofit association in Charlottesville, Va., says the “conventional wisdom that gridlock is good for the market is wrong.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Saturday, November 06, 2010 • Permalink