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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


Wall Street (1987)

Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is describing the ruthless nature of the stock market.
It’s a zero-sum game: somebody wins, somebody loses.
REMARKS: The stock market may be ruthless, but is definitely not a zero-sum game. Modelling with zero-sum games cannot capture the value of collaboration in economic situations, exactly the point of considering more general games. It was the proving of the existence of equilibium solutions to such games which made John Nash, the hero of A Beautiful Mind, famous.