One side effect of the 2008 financial crisis has been renewed attention to the ban on insider trading. This ban dates to 1934, when it was adopted in response to the Great Depression and the stock market crash of 1929; Congress and various Supreme Court decisions have strengthened the ban since.  In recent years the Securities and Exchange Commission has pursued several high-profile insider cases, such as that of Raj Rajaratnam, and Congress appears likely to ban “insider” trading by its own members.
Margin Call is the best film to come out of the recent financial crisis. This is no polemic masquerading as a “documentary” (Inside Job) or good vs. evil melodrama (Money Never Sleeps). It is serious film, with superb acting, script, direction and photography, which uses the financial crisis as the realistic backdrop for a timeless story.  And yet the film is fatally flawed.
On May 11, after the trial of Galleon hedge-fund founder Raj Rajaratnam (pictured below) had ended in a conviction on all counts, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, came forth to give his understanding of it all. His statement is worth parsing, one element at a time.
Atlas Shrugged is an extended cry against the oppression of creators, most particularly businessmen: the Atlases who bear this world on their shoulders.
We’ve all seen the headlines : “Insider Trading ‘Rampant’ On Wall St.: US Attorney.” But how many of us stop to ask about the person who lurks behind that title, “US Attorney”?

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