Former Merrill Lynch broker Keith Schooley isn't shocked at all by the antics happening over at big bank Wells Fargo. In fact, he says, "It's déjà vu all over again." A new screenplay based on Schooley's days at Merrill in '91-'92 is now circulating in Hollywood.
The screenplay written by two Hollywood pros dramatically captures Schooley's experiences as told in his book Merrill Lynch: The Cost Could Be Fatal - My War Against Wall Street's Giant. In the book, Schooley alleged extensive corruption at the firm that was covered up by senior management and the board of directors that resulted in termination of his employment and litigation that went all the way to the Oklahoma Supreme Court and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The screenplay is represented by veteran entertainment lawyer Jay Shanker.
Schooley's 2002 book was a cautionary tale illustrating how careless and greedy stewardship of the nation's banking could lead to a collapse of the economy. The crash of 2008 has only confirmed to Schooley that blowing the whistle was the right thing to do.
Senator Elizabeth Warren recently grilled Wells CEO John Stumpf at a Senate Banking Committee hearing where she accused him of "gutless leadership."
"I only wish my efforts could have stopped the domino effect on Wall Street," said Schooley. "But, even with Senator Warren setting off sirens in the banking industry these insatiable money grubbers always seem to find new ways to circumvent the system."
"I agree with Warren that we need Congress and the Department of Justice to take action and send these guys to the slammer," said Schooley. "25 years later, it's past time to act. Wells Fargo's decision to claw back some of Stumpf's pay is laughable. Nobody from senior management has been forced to step down and I'm having flashbacks to my days at Merrill."
"While the statute of limitations may have run on the illegal behavior by Merrill," said Schooley, "there is no statute on Congressional hearings. I'd still like to see certain parties at Merrill raise their right hands."
"It's my hope that the screenplay gets made into a movie and puts a spotlight on the unending corruption on Wall Street," said Schooley. "Perhaps then, some meaningful changes will be made."
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