Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The American Nightmare

A New York Times headline today says "Facebook I.P.O. (initial public offering of stock) Raises Regulatory Concerns" linked here and below.  It is a metaphor and an example of the times in which we live and what is so desperately wrong with an anarchistic unregulated Wall Street.

My father (a survivor of the 29 crash) always told me when I asked him why he had not invested in stocks that the stock market was NOT for the little guy. It was for those, he said, who had, at that time, millions and who could afford to take risk.  As I grew older and part of the working masses it became a market for most of us, a fad and a dupe, as we took risk through our respective workplaces so we could ensure we would have a retirement safety net over and above our measly, by today's standards, Social Security. We believed those "experts" who said this was a good thing and we believed them when they said the successful market at that time had proven in Ayn Randian fashion that the market rules and that it can only go up.  As someone in an old Sherlock Holmes "B" mystery movie with the excellent actor Basil Rathbone said: "We've been had, Watson.  We've been properly had" and we, the American masses have. 

My father had an uncanny way for being exactly right on many things economic and historical. Most know what has happened yet again as the mantra screams in rhythmic decibel-like cymbals clanging in our ears, we are living through the Greatest Recession since the Great Depression.  The market was not then and is not now made for the little guy, Main Street, workers' state pension funds, teachers, and all those who had NO understanding of their own investments and trusted brokers who may or may not have been on their side. Most have no idea of the insider trading scoop, the lightening fast computer technology and algorithms available only to those on Wall Street making the market uber complex . The little guy unless he/she is very smart, has an MIT degree and works on Wall Street, will not and could never understand it all.  Those little guys who were duped by media driven drivel to invest in Facebook stand to lose their shirt. They do not know what the insiders knew about this Wall Street IPO Facebook and how could they?  Worse, Morgan Stanley may have been guilty of knowing about Facebook's losses, telling only a few and not revealing it to the masses.  How could the average guy know?  He could not.
This may be a violation of SEC rules but please do not hold your breath turning blue waiting for indictments of the big boys and getting only ad infinitum meaningless hearings until the furor dies down and the American public's very short memory remembers nothing, perhaps, waiting for Mitt Romney the king of the foxes to get them out of the economic ditch.  He won't. He and his cronies will eat you for lunch.

The stock market for the masses is a con game, defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property." It has stolen surreptitiously from us as Republicans who represent its millionaires and billionaires even now want to turn your Social Security, which USED to be placed in a locked box, over to Wall Street. Gaahead vote Republican and lose whatever you have left.  You or your children will, in time lose it all.

George Carlin the sage comic I loved so much and quote often presciently said the game is rigged and it's NOT rigged for most of you. The American Dream, he said, IS a dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. Be careful to whom you entrust your life's future. As the old commercial said applicable in our time "The life you save may truly be your own."

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