“It’s the Jews who control the market,” he told me…
Okay, that was a sensational headline meant to grab the attention of anyone intrigued by a possible bigoted, Jew baiting post. But no, an anti-Semitic diatribe does not follow.
It’s just that I was listening to CNBC and heard all the chatter about the Securities Exchange Commission charging Goldman Sachs with fraud.
I think by this time the general public, if it did not already suspect such, knows that fraud is what Wall Street (a generic term simply meaning all big time finance) is all about (always has been, probably always will be).
It seems to me that the rest of the country would be a lot better off if it could divorce itself from Wall Street.
In this latest turn of events, as I understand it, Goldman Sachs failed to tell investors that it was offering them something they knew was worthless, proven by the fact they were shorting themselves (or the guy who put together the deal was) big time on the very thing they were selling (and if I am not making sense here, just read the Wall Street Journal or other financial news source).
Most of my life I had only a clue as to what Wall Street was all about. But just like everyone else, during this current crisis, the Great Recession, I have learned a lot and it is mostly ugly and depressing and downright infuriating.
It makes me think back to when I was a reporter on a small town newspaper and I was talking to a local cattle rancher. He was a simple, homespun kind of a guy, and he was attempting to explain the dynamics of the cattle market to me as he understood them. It was pretty simple:
In a somewhat high-pitched nasal tone he told me: “It’s the Jews (back east) that control the cattle market.”
I think if you redefine “Jews” as a generic term for professional financiers or traders and not mean any reference to religion or ethnicity, that is fairly accurate.
It would be nice if the nation’s economy was more decentralized. Then we could let Wall Street be Wall Street, and the rest of us could go on our way.
Maybe I’m being naïve, but I like to think that in that cattleman’s world honest dealing was the rule, with a handshake meaning more than some complicated and convoluted contract or financial instrument meant to deceive.
But you know, the general populace got caught up in the Wall Street game when 401-K retirement accounts, tied to Wall Street, came into vogue, and when it no longer was a shame to take out a second mortgage because people’s homes became a cash cow in a false economy based on inflated home prices, the result of a huge speculative bubble that eventually burst a couple of years ago or so.
I have not read much of it, but the Huffington Post has been running blogs that call for people to turn away from large financial institutions and put their money in smaller and more local institutions.
Anyone who has read any history of finance (the Great Depression) knows that Wall Street is usually up to no good. The general public was caught up in the greed of Wall Street back in the Roaring 20s, with the man on the street buying stocks with money he did not have (on the margin) and by the 30s the nation was plunged into the Great Depression after the bubble burst in 1929.
Things eventually got better and in a collective amnesia the nation forgot it ever happened and fell for the Siren song of greed coming out of Wall Street.
And just now I heard a CNBC commentator saying that the “retail investor” in the market is no longer interested because he knows the “game is rigged”.