A Time Out From the Circus We’ve Been Watching…

A Time Out From the Circus We’ve Been Watching…

Posted On February 6, 2021 9:30 am

For the last few weeks, we have been watching an unbelievable circus going on in mainstream financial news.  

It’s fun, but it can get a little tiring so I wanted to take a break today and tell you about one of the most underrated financial movies of all time. 

Let me take you back to 1993, Beverly Hills 90210 was all the rage – grunge was asserting itself in the music scene (and kids were wearing a lot of plaid), and people were still buzzing about Sharon Stone’s infamous scene in Basic Instinct.  

HBO released a movie detailing, in dramatic and comic fashion, the Leveraged Buyout of RJR Nabisco…

The largest LBO in history at that time.  

The movie was Barbarians at the Gate and was based on a book by the same name. 

No need to go into the specifics of what an LBO is, or the plot.  You can watch the movie if you’re interested in that.  

I just want to tell you that it is one of the most fun high finance movies I’ve ever seen.  

Jim Garner plays F Ross Johnson – the then CEO of RJR Nabisco.  Garner plays the part of a smart-alec, quick-witted corporate guy. And he doesn’t mind shooting off lines that are edgy, ridiculous, or downright inappropriate.  

For example, Johnson is with another CEO named Don Kelly in the Manhattan apartment of Henry Kravis.  Kravis is one of the founders of the private equity firm KKR, which is still a Wall Street player today.  

Don and Johnson are admiring a painting on Kravis’s wall, and Don looks at Johnson and says, “Monet” referring to the artist who did the painting. 

Johnson looks back at Don and says, “Yeah right, tons of it!”

Kravis is obviously VERY rich.  When we walked into the scene Johnson said to him, “Listen Henry, if there’s anything you need. If you’re hurting in any way at all, all you have to do is ask.” Then gives a little smirk.  

Later Johnson tells his wife that Kravis’ apartment makes “Buckingham Palace look like a Burger King.  Nobody gets that rich letting anyone play co-god with them.”

The movie is full of stars you will recognize from other roles, and Garner gives an amazing performance.  

If you want a light-hearted, fun look into the world of Wall Street and high finance, I suggest you find the movie.  It’ll be an hour and a half or so of good fun. 

Have a great weekend!  Monday I’ll be back, nose to the grindstone, finding great new trades for Options360, and managing our existing trades.  

To Your Success,


PS. If you have not done so already, make sure to grab your $19 trial subscription to Options360.  Just last week we closed a trade in Visa for a 45% ROI in just 3 days.  I have a good feeling about February, so don’t miss out!


About author

Steve Smith

Steve Smith have been involved in all facets of the investment industry in a variety of roles ranging from speculator, educator, manager and advisor. This has taken him from the trading floors of Chicago to hedge funds on Wall Street to the world online. From 1987 to 1996, he served as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). From 1997 to 2007, he was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for TheStreet.com, handling their Option Alert and Short Report newsletters. The Option Alert was awarded the MIN “best business newsletter” in 2006. From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for Minyanville’s OptionSmith newsletter, as well as a Risk Manager Consultant for New Vernon Capital LLC. Smith acted as an advisor to build models and option strategies to reduce portfolio exposure and enhance returns for the four main funds. Since 2015, he has worked for Adam Mesh Trading Group. There, he has managed Options360 and Earning 360, been co-leader of Option Academy, and contributed to The Option Specialist website.