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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pop Goes ERISA, Part 2 - Casino, Gordon Gekko Redux and . . . ERISA

An earlier post focused on ERISA-centric movies like Wall Street. Jonathan L.* alerts me to the fact that Casino is yet another ERISA-centric (preERISA-centric?) movie. It tells the story of a sports handicapper who is recruited by crime bosses to manage a casino in Vegas. The casino is built in part with the use of a loan from the Central States pension fund.** See also Hoffa. Note also that Wall Street references are particularly timely, with Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps in the works.***

Clearly, I should've already been aware of the ERISAfied aspects of Casino. Oddly, however, even though I'm a huge fan of the The Godfather, and particularly it's unscripted feel, I've never really connected with movies like Goodfellas and Casino (or even The Godfather: Part II).**** My loss, I'm sure, but I didn't want to miss it here.

Thx, Jon.

* I'm glad there're "Jonathan" and "John", 'cuz it seems like 72% of everyone I know is named one or the other, and I'm glad there's some way, at least in writing, to distinguish one from the other.

** Sadly, notwithstanding the patent ERISA connections evident in the movie, I could find no Casino-related mention at all of Advisory Opinions 77-60/61 A, 77-62/63 A, 77-64/65 A, 77-66/67 A, 77-68 A, and 77-69/70 A, or of any of the many critical cases involving the Teamsters, or even to the backdrop of abuse and mismanagement connected with union and other funds against which ERISA was enacted - but maybe I didn't look hard enough.

*** I guess it won't be subtitled, "ERISA Amended" - it's now WAY outside the remedial amendment period.

**** Goodfellas, I know, is regarding by some as a top or near-top movie of all time. See, e.g., the Total Film and Time lists. As noted, for whatever reason, I just don't connect. Having said that, I am so happy that Scorsese finally got one for The Departed (even if it's distinctly mediocre, if you ask me). (Can you say "John Wayne" or "Paul Newman"?)

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