Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More Ranting from Green Eagle about Wall Street

I'm breaking down and revisiting the topic of uncontrolled criminality in the financial world, and how it is crushing us out of existence.  What finally pushed me over the edge is the persistent rumors that the President, who has been worse than useless in controlling Wall Street is now considering making one of the chief Wall Street malefactors, Larry Summers, the chairman of the Fed, further postponing the likelihood that the government will face its responsibilities to keep the economy stable.

A couple of days ago, I posted some longish excerpts from the New York Times about the manipulation of the market in aluminum by Goldman Sachs.  The general take on this conduct is that it was a really shrewd move on their part to artificially drive up the cost of aluminum, damaging both consumers and producers of anything with aluminum in it, while raking in billions in profits from a scheme which was of absolutely no benefit to anyone but themselves.

Well, it is not "shrewd" to find a way to profit at the expense of people who actually produce or consume products, and therefore are the real engines of the economy.  It does not demonstrate extra intelligence; what it in fact displays is a lack of common human decency.  If you and I are walking down the street and we see an old lady, and I mug her and steal her purse while you don't, it's not because I am shrewder than you, it's that I lack morality.  The truth is, anyone can think of ways to exploit the helpless; actually doing them is not a sign of superiority.

No, the real fault lies with the government, which has destroyed regulation on the financial community to the point where these vultures have now amassed so much of our nation's wealth that they can spread their economic pollution into other businesses, turning the whole economy into nothing but a victim of their behavior.

And let's face it- what kind of people are these Wall Street guys, these hedge fund managers, these executives at Goldman Sachs and its peers?  No one goes to work at Goldman Sachs out of altruism, or out of a desire to do good in their life.  Yeah, there are a few of them who are where they are because they inherited daddy's seat on the stock exchange, but by and large, this is a group self-selected for two qualities:  Overwhelming avarice and a near sociopathic obsession with themselves and their own wealth.  The whole system, as it now exists, works to single out the most self-absorbed and greedy people in the country, and then turn over to them the entire workings of the economy.  Is it any wonder that this scheme isn't working out so well?

Here is a truth that was learned in 1929, but which has been shouted out of our national consciousness by corporate funded lies:  The nation and the world cannot afford to allow too much wealth to be concentrated in the hands of so few people, because when it is, their runaway greed destroys everything and we all end up suffering.  That is what is happening now in this country.  There is only one answer: the very rich must be stripped of a large part of what they own and control.  This is not punishment- it is survival.  A Supreme Court justice once said, "the Constitution is not a suicide pact."  Well, the economy is not a suicide pact either.  We need to end the ability of these people to destroy everything we work for all our lives; the out of control passions of a few thousand people cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the survival of everyone else on earth.


Magpie said...

There needs to be an implementation of a policy framework that put’s moral hazard – by Krugman’s definition – front and centre.

99.9% of mankind has to square up to the consequences of risk taking, but somehow these people get a free pass.

I know that doesn’t stop the criminality but it’s a start.
On the other hand… it might help stop the criminality if some of these bastards actually went to jail – and none of them ever do.

joseph said...

It is even worse. As a society we worship those who lack ethics.
Jonas Salk was told that he could be rich if he patented the polio vaccine, but he responded, "Could you patent the sun?" Rather than respect those who want to help people, we look with scorn on saps who fail to take every advantage, moral or immoral, to make money. We need a new awakening.

joseph said...

And it gets worse

Magpie said...

“We need a new awakening.”

Well, yes … but it depends what it is you awaken. Green Eagle fears the beast. So do I.

joseph said...


The point is that we have become so enamored of greed that morality has become irrelevant. Pope Francis said that we should renounce fame, power and wealth. Nobody will take it seriously.

Green Eagle said...

Magpie, people have been saying that throughout history. Has anyone with fame, power and wealth ever taken them seriously?

Magpie said...



Were you talking to joseph?

Green Eagle said...

I think I was. Sorry.