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Ivan Boesky, inspiration for ‘Wall Street’ villain Gordon Gekko, dead at 87

Ivan Boesky, a onetime Wall Street titan-turned-convict who served as the partial inspiration for the 1987 Oliver Stone film ‘Wall Street,’ has died at the age of 87.

Though he denied ever saying it, contemporary accounts reported Boesky extolling the virtues of avarice in a commencement speech at the University of California Berkeley in 1986.

“I think greed is healthy,’ Boesky reportedly said. “You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself.”

At that point, he was seen as a money-making visionary for his seeming ability to predict business mergers.

By the end of that year, Boesky had been charged with insider trading, having made lucrative stock bets based on illicit access to proprietary information.

As it turned out, Boesky was sending literal briefcases full of cash to an insider at a well-known Wall Street firm in exchange for tips about acquisition activity.

This post appeared first on NBC NEWS
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