Do you think CNBC is promoting this so Jordan Belfort, the original "Wolf of Wall Street," will be able to make payments to the folks he owes $100 million to? Yeah, I didn't think so either.
Let the cognitive dissonance begin!
Now that "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a certified hit, the man whose life the film is based on is back selling something. This time, however, it's all legal.
Belfort is selling a program on how to be a successful salesperson using "ethical persuasion." "Success in the absence of ethics ... is failure, it's not success at all," Belfort said in a free webinar Wednesday.
He didn't flinch from admitting he broke the law and deserved to go to prison.
"I never felt good. People asked, 'Why did you do all those drugs?' Why do you think?'" However, he made one claim his former clients might disagree with. "If you were to have invested $10,000 in every one of Stratton's new issues, my guess is you'd be up 100 times on your money, because a couple of them were wild successes." Belfort's firm profiled in the film was Stratton Oakmont. New issues were stocks Belfort was taking public which they manipulated.
Belfort looks at his own life as a success, having survived drug abuse, ripping people off, prison and several broken relationships. These days, the man portrayed on the big screen by Leonard DiCaprio is now getting calls from celebrities to "do lunch." He still owes victims nearly $100 million in restitution.
Call me old-fashioned, but none of those qualifiers would induce me to call him a 'success.' His pitch sounds a lot like Abramoff's coming-to-Jesus moments about campaign finance. Abramoff owes millions for restitution, too.
But the idea of this guy selling a seminar on "ethical persuasion?" That goes too far, even for those with wild imaginations.