Michael Douglas: Greed is actually bad

Michael Douglas says he was wrong: Greed is not good!

The Oscar-winner is switching roles for a new public service ad campaign.

In the 1980s, Douglas was the fictional face of Wall Street excess. In the 1987 movie "Wall Street," Douglas' character says, "Greed, for lack of a better term, is good."

The actor, whose portrayal of gluttonous corporate raider Gordon Gekko earned him an Oscar, is trying out a new role - that of FBI informant.

On Monday, the bureau announced that Douglas will become the newest face of its campaign, "Perfect Hedge," which has successfully prosecuted 57 people in the last five years for insider trading, and is targeting 120 more suspects.

The commercial will be a part of the ongoing effort, and will also feature parts of real-life FBI wiretaps from successful prosecutions.

"In the movie 'Wall Street,' I played Gordon Gekko, a greedy corporate executive who cheated to profit while innocent investors lost their savings," Douglas now says in an ad.

"The movie was fiction," Douglas adds, "but the problem is real. Our economy is increasingly dependent on the success and integrity of the financial markets."

"If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is," he says.

Douglas, who'd previously said he was "startled by the positive response he received as Gordon Gekko," will now urge traders and managers on and off the street to report fraud to the FBI.

"For more information on how you can identify securities fraud or to report insider trading, contact your local FBI office. Thank you," the ad concludes.

To see Betty Nguyen's report, which contains parts of the Douglas ad, click on the video in the player above.

  • Betty Nguyen

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