Robber Barons of the Big Board is a feature film screenplay inspired by the book Merrill Lynch: The Cost Could Be Fatal—My War Against Wall Street’s Giant by Keith Schooley.
Money Never Sleeps meets The Insider when an idealistic rookie stockbroker notices unethical business practices at America’s most trusted financial firm and turns whistleblower.
Alternating between small town Texas and big city New York, a cast of unforgettable characters find their worlds colliding as the U.S. economy melts under the searing heat of greed and corruption.
Kevin Schaeffer is determined to earn money the old fashioned way after his influential in-laws open doors for him at a local Monroe Finch office in the nation’s heartland. But as he dutifully plays by the rules of the game, his sleazy superiors think nothing of bending the rules to line their own pockets.
Kevin’s social-climbing wife Darla has no problem with how the funds come in just as long as they keep on coming.
Meanwhile back east, Mother Monroe’s gold-plated head of investment banking Frank Graham, and his jaded junior stock analyst daughter Tess, roll the dice with other people’s money and enjoy the high life. However after Tess’ girlfriend Bindi Barringer a bleeding heart journalist, stumbles upon a scoop at the Attorney General’s office, her loyalties are tested. Tess’ scheming mom Jane makes the decision a bit easier for her.
While the stock market double-clutches under the winking eye of Washington, insiders like Hank Blackett and Martha Stewart take a wrong turn off greed’s slippery slope onto the route of all evil with a little help from their friends.
Still convinced that the sleaze does not rise to the top, Kevin hauls his findings to New York, only to learn that not even the American system of justice can save a boy scout who takes on the Wall Street machine.
Yet Kevin is not the only fish-out-of-water as Bindi is sent to Texas to pursue the sole source willing to talk in the Monroe Finch scandal.
As two wars rage in the wake of the 9-11 attacks, the stock market is thrown into a tailspin. But it’s nothing that the masters of the universe can’t use to their own advantage. Though even they can’t keep all the plates spinning as a combination of deregulation, corruption, greed and irrational exuberance send the economy into a downward spiral to near collapse.
Few come out ahead, but in the end lady justice demands to be served.
Chandra Niles Folsom is an award-winning journalist who writes for newspapers and magazines nationwide. She co-authored Women’s Glasnost (Bergin & Garvey, 1994) with Tatyana Mamonova and served as an editor on The Terrorist Conjunction (Praeger Security International, 2007) by Dr. Alfred Gerteiny. She has also worked in television and her screenplay Chamber of Shadows (Blackstrap) was released as an independent film in 2009.