05 Mar The Wolf of Wall Street by Maria
The motto of our last meeting was “The Wolf of Wall Street” – dedicated to the story of Jordan Belfort who is a very famous speaker today. A number of “Wolves” demonstrated their speaking skills and ability to convince the audience.
Thorsten Roth gave us insights into best ways to find speech topics. He drew a road map for us showing where to start, how to narrow choices and how to refine search of the best idea. The audience voted for Thorsten as best and most improved speaker – congratulations!
Stefanie Hofer gave her ice breaker speech – a touching and inspiring story about life choices. Edgar Lindger spoke about good things – where they are and how do we find them best.
During the Table Topics round we discussed things like hiring people for difficult jobs, making money and – in general – being a “wolf”.
Our next meeting is on March 10. – make sure you are there!
Now a few words about the topic of the meeting and why it was selected:
The Wolf of Wall Street is the name of Martin Scorcese’s latest movie. It is based on the incredible but true story about Jordan Belfort. Jordan Belfort is an AUDACIOUS person who has gone through a lot of ups and downs in his life; he got a millionaire from illegal stock brokerage practices, went to prison, came out again to become presently a very successful public speaker and company business and ethics consultant. If you haven’t seen the movie yet you have a great weekend plan now.
In addition here some real facts from the life of Jordan Belfort compared to the movie plot (Source: historyhollywood.com):
The events in The Wolf of Wall Street movie took place during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Jordan Belfort and Danny Porush founded the New York brokerage firm of Stratton Oakmont in the late 1980s. The partners chose the name because it sounded prestigious.
Belfort’s Stratton Oakmont brokerage firm ran a classic “pump and dump” operation. Belfort and several of his executives would buy up a particular company’s stock and then have an army of brokers (following a script he had prepared) sell it to unsuspecting investors. This would cause the stock to rise, pretty much guaranteeing Belfort and his associates a substantial profit. Soon, the stock would fall back to reality, with the investors bearing a significant loss. At its peak in the 1990s, Stratton Oakmont employed more than 1,000 brokers.
The firm would later be accused of manipulating the IPOs of at least 34 companies, including Steve Madden Ltd. (their biggest deal), Dualstar Technologies, Paramount Financial, D.V.I. Financial, M. H. Meyerson & Co., Czech Industries, M.V.S.I. Technology, Questron Technologies, and Etel Communications. In 1996, Stratton Oakmont was banned from the brokerage industry, which eventually forced the company to close its doors.
As shown in The Wolf of Wall Street movie, Steve Madden had been a childhood friend of Belfort’s partner Danny Porush. During the initial public offering of his footwear company, Steve Madden Ltd., Madden acquired a large number of shares of his company, which were actually being controlled by Belfort and his firm, Stratton Oakmont. Once shares became available to the public, Stratton Oakmont got down to the business of selling them to unsuspecting suckers. Billing Madden’s company as the hottest issue on Wall Street, Belfort’s brokers in turn drove up the price. Eventually, Steve Madden was to sell off his shares when the hype was at its peak, just before the stock began its inevitable decline. Similar to what is seen in the movie, Belfort still maintains that Steve Madden tried to steal his Steve Madden shares from him. However, Jordan Belfort did make approximately $23 million in two hours as part of the deal with Steve Madden, who would later be charged as an accomplice to Belfort’s scheme.
When he was finally arrested in 1998 for money laundering and securities fraud, Jordan Belfort was sentenced to four years in prison. This was after agreeing to wear a wire and provide the FBI with information to help prosecute various friends and associates. In the end, the true story reveals that he served only 22 months in a California federal prison. His cellmate in prison was Tommy Chong of “Cheech and Chong” fame. After laughing at some of Belfort’s stories from his days running the firm, Chong encouraged him to write a book.
In addition to writing two books, The Wolf of Wall Street and its sequel Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, the real Jordan Belfort works as a motivational speaker and a private and corporate consultant. As a motivational speaker, he is sometimes paid more than $30,000 a speech. His personal website states that he is able to consult with companies on “business strategies, sales training, ethics in business, or how to raise venture capital.”
Find out more about Jordan Belfort – watch his interview on The Room Live in 2010. http://www.historyvshollywood.com/video/jordan-belfort-interview/