Surrounded by his team, Stratton Oakmont founder Jordan Belfort is tossing a golf ball into glasses on a billiard table:

Jordan Belfort: F-ck Merrill Lynch. F-ck them. Why should they be taking all our f-cking money all the f-cking time? This way we become the underwriters.

Why is Merrill Lynch taking money from Jordan Belfort and his team?

  • They're not actually taking money from Jordan, rather they are getting investors to invest with ML instead of Jordan... so they are getting the profit rather than him.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Feb 12 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Underwriters charge a fee for their services. Merrill Lynch are not taking all of anyone's money, that's hyperbole, but they are charging for what they do. The character is saying that if they performed the actions themselves, they wouldn't need to pay the fee.

An equivalent thing for a person might be not using a real estate agent because you don't want to pay them a commission, but marketing and selling the house yourself. Such a person might say "why should the real estate agent get my money?"

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