When JP Morgan Chase says oops, we lost $2 billion, or maybe three, and it’s no big deal to the world at large, you have to start wondering how desensitized we’ve become to common sense.
Losing $2 billion is a very big deal to most of us, most of us think that losing $100,000 in pension benefits, or half the value of our homes, would be catastrophic. But, to the good folks who brought us the global financial crisis, $3 billion is a rounding error.
The woman who is taking the fall for this massive FAIL was paid $14 million last year. To most of us, that’s a lottery win- to her, it’s just another day at the office.
If you wonder how it came to this, we have to look back to policy changes that allowed banks to do a bunch of things that were specifically outlawed after the 1927 crash and the subsequent depression. Those laws managed to protect us from another massive meltdown for a long time. However, policy is boring- and like sausage, no one wants to really watch it being made. The fact that the same people who pay themselves millions a year to play with our money, also buy our politicians in the things we call “democratic elections” – except there is nothing democratic about them anymore, they are run like auctions. Just read the paper and see how most of the reporting focuses on fundraising instead of issues. None of it matters though, we’re only picking puppets, not the puppets’ masters.
If you wonder how they gain access to those kinds of dollars, it’s pretty simple- they’ve created a casino, where they are the house and the customers at the same time- but, playing with your money. But you say, I don’t have any money in the stock market, and there you are wrong. Your tax dollars are in the stock market- funding the pensions of civil employees, your pension (if you’re lucky enough to have one) your tax dollars are invested by our government (the largest purchaser of goods and services in this country, if not the world) and spent by our government with companies that are listed on the market.
Think about it- when Congress awards a contract worth billions to General Dynamics for a fighter plane or Boeing for a refueling system, the companies’ stock goes up or down. It’s all tied together.
The problem is, the people running the casino are working as hard as they can to keep their bank accounts filling up as fast as possible- because billion dollar deals are where they make the big bucks- fast. They do it in minutes- while most of us would work a lifetime to do the same.
They do it by cheating.
“Insider trading” is a pretty way of saying swindle, steal, thieve and lie. And, it largely goes unprosecuted. How many people making $100,000 a year are going to take a stab at someone making that a day- and not end up on the hit list?
It turns out one man tried- a Navy veteran who got a master’s degree in finance. He saw the deals happening first hand inside Lehman Brothers and reported it. He lost his job, he can’t work again in the industry and the people he reported were a prime factor in the fall of the economy. You can read about it in the New York Times- but here is an excerpt that sums things up:
But Mr. Parmigiani and others suspect that the P.R. of the Galleon case glosses over risks that insider trading can and does occur regularly at many Wall Street firms. In their view, it has become institutionalized. The flow of information between a firm’s analysts, its traders and its clients — a lucrative heads-up on stock upgrades and downgrades, for instance — can bolster trading profits, brokerage commissions and, ultimately, Wall Street paydays. Those in the know can get rich before the rest of us know what happened.
“Prosecutors say insider trading won’t be tolerated, that this is justice,” Mr. Parmigiani says of the Galleon case. “But they refuse to acknowledge that their widespread net has a very big hole in it.”
And while Ron Paul supporters say the only way to return to sanity is to return to the gold standard, the reality is when you have a global economy built on trust- you can’t have liars and thieves making the rules and running the game.
There isn’t a reader of this site who hasn’t been affected by this criminal mischief- from the loss in value of your home, to the cuts in public service and the rise in gas prices. All of this, thanks to the greed mongers who think nothing of losing billions- “by accident.” Yet, if you rob a bank with a gun and get away with $6,000, and they catch you- you will go to prison.
There is no reason for stocks to be traded as often as they are- other than to create commissions on the churn. No major company’s fortune changes that much in a day- other than in the minds of the people profiting with each swing of a share- often in pennies, but being traded in huge blocks.
If we really wanted to fix our economy, we need to change the game. There are many things we can do, but haven’t- including dismantling the mutual funds where bunches of small investors are conned into letting the puppet-masters play with their money on a commission basis, to eliminating all private money in the election process. Or, the federal government could stop buying products from companies that pay their executives millions, while the rest of us go broke.
And while JP Morgan Chase says they “lost 2 or 3 billion” I can assure you, it came out of someone else’s pockets- not Jamie Dimon the CEO, or Ina Drew the $14 million a year winner in the payroll sweepstakes, but yours and mine (remember who pays for the bailouts) and ended up in someone else’s pockets.
The money doesn’t disappear by accident folks, you’re being conned. You can’t elect someone to clean this up, you can’t stop it with your protests or even by changing your behavior, eventually, someone ends up “winning” the game- with all the money in the world and we’re going to end up in a world that resembles feudal times, if we’re lucky.
Osama Bin Laden was a total scumbag, but he did know where the real enemy to a free world was headquartered when he attacked the World Trade Center. As much as we blame so much on him, and have spent trillions trying to vanquish the planet of his followers, he did attack the symbols of what this rigged casino has wrought. We just continue to ignore the true evil among us, the con men holding the puppet strings, who can lose $3 billion and not go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Yep, the money is disappearing, but it’s no accident. There are people running things who don’t have to answer to anyone. How does that make you feel?