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Michael Douglas says Gordon Gekko was wrong -- greed is not good

February 27, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera

Reporting from Washington — In a new FBI ad, actor Michael Douglas says his Gordon Gekko character was wrong -- greed is not good after all.

As part of a campaign to fight securities fraud, the FBI released a public service announcement on Monday featuring Douglas. It begins with a clip from his Academy Award-winning role in 1987's "Wall Street."

"The point is, ladies and gentlemen, greed, for lack of a better word, is good," Gekko, a corporate raider, says at a shareholder meeting of a company he his trying to take over, in a line that become legendary. "Greed is right.”

Not so fast, says Douglas, who reprised the role of Gekko in 2010's sequel, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."

He notes that Gekko cheated innocent investors out of their savings.

"The movie was fiction, but the problem is real," he said.

"Our economy is increasingly dependent on the success and the integrity of the financial markets," Douglas continues. "If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is."

In the first "Wall Street," Gekko is undone by his protege, played by Charlie Sheen, who wears a wire to help authorities nab him for securities fraud. 

Douglas isn't asking people to go that far. He urges the public to learn how to identify securities fraud and to report insider training, directing them to contact their local FBI office or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

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