Monday, August 15, 2011

Take Stock in this

Take Stock in This

When it came time to dismantle my bother in laws parents home, we found a box of rubber bands which had been broken, tied in a knot for reuse, then stored away for the future. Children of the Depression, his parents treasured every penny. Flash forward to today's generation, their life's savings in 401ks, IRAs and Mutual Funds, all entrusted to Wall Street.

For decades Wall Street has sold itself to America as the ideal place to put their money, more importantly, their trust. Slick television ads featuring distinguished, serious looking broker types promised safety, honesty and prosperity if only the viewer would entrust their money to the sponsoring company. Charts, bar graphs and testimonies spoke of future freedom from worry. Ever the trusting rube, Americans poured their money into the stock market, sure that someone was watching out for them. Surely, analyst were delving into annual reports, spreadsheets, interviewing management, working hard on stock holders behalf.

Like the Wizard of Oz, revealed to be a little old man behind a curtain, Wall Street is now revealed as a tight little club of New York insiders trading with each other with a wink and a nod. Enron, Worldcom, Madoff, the crash of 2008, the fall of the market 1000 points in an hour on a late Friday after noon were only hints, fingerprints on the gun.

As you sit in front of the Television watching Squawk Box do you wonder how the market can move up and down hundreds of points a day if someone is really studying the listed companies, weighing their relative value, then determining if it is a sell, hold or buy with your money ?

Sorry Charlie!! Computers are buying and selling your future at lightening speed. Brokers are pocketing millions in bonuses without regard your profit or loss.

No Wall Street is no longer the great engine of economic generation, provider of capital for industry but one big, rigged craps game and you don't get to see the dice.

Don't bother calling your Government, they are in on the joke.

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