Thriller about political economy

I stumbled upon Beatrice Gerard’s Hunting for Sparrows when looking for some light reading for the weekend. It’s a thriller, but it underlines two different philosophies of economic development. There is action and the rest, of course, and a good dose of, what shall I call it, eroticism, but what struck my attention was the debate between Supply Side […]

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Occupy is here to stay

Regardless of what happens with this wave of protests (winter can be a big deterrent for popular movements), the occupy movement, its continuation, spawns, and follow-up movements are here to stay. Washington has two illusions: that the movement wanes during the winter months and doesn’t come back, and that the 1012 elections offer a relief, […]

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Why it is important that Occupy Wall Street Remains Independent

A The Onion called Occupy Wall Street to define a position so everybody could move on and ignore them. The old guard doesn’t get Occupy Wall Street. They still think in terms of “political movements” when Occupy Wall Street is a moral movement. For too long, Morality (and I mean Morality, not chest-banging in the […]

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The Lobbyist for the 99%

Occupy Wall Street is being pressured to “make demands”, “offer solutions”. I contend this is not the role of a broad-based grassroots movement, that’s the role of the elected officials. Occupy Wall Street has been very successful so far in becoming the “Lobbyist for the 99%”. Think of it as a lobbyist who brings home […]

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And yet the data shows a fast recovery

This is an update to a post published almost two years ago: Some Historical Perspective on the Current Recession.Back then I analyzed data until the third quarter of 2008. The data showed that we weren’t in a depression yet, and that Up to the 3rd quarter of 2008, the economic recession was shallower than the […]

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Ghosts and Demons

Democracy, Finance, Thoughts Comments (0)

President Obama said today that the OWS shouldn’t demonize the people working at Wall Street. I would agree in general with that, but I suspect that OWS is not against the clerks, analysts, etc. who work in Wall Street, but rather against those who don’t work. Not only those who don’t work, but those who do nothing productive. A speculative elite that creates increasingly complex derivatives that serve no financial purpose other than enrich them gambling with the destiny of real companies, real producers, who create actual jobs.
There is a class of parasites in Wall Street that does nothing to allocate capital to worthy enterprises, that rob companies from money that could be invested in improvements, R&D, riskier ventures. A class whose sole benefit comes from gambling.
These Wall Street guys don’t work, don’t do anything productive, and demand from companies almost impossible to achieve profit margins. These continuous and voracious demand forces companies to ship jobs overseas, reduces the economic base and the acquisitive power of the people who actually work, on and off Wall Street.
OWS is a wide movement that keeps, and should keep, the discourse alive and call attention to this parasitic class that is eating away the wealth of the nations. As such, they shouldn’t be asking for specific reforms. In a representative democracy that is the role of the representatives in congress and in the executive.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, took timid steps towards reducing the amount of speculation in certain areas, but it hasn’t gone nearly far enough.
Have you seen big tanks of oil in Wall Street ready to take delivery of the billions in futures contracts held by Wall Street firms? Me neither.
A simple rule like “hey, if you buy oil futures, you have to take delivery” would force Wall Street firms to unwind their long positions in oil that would remove from the market the fake demand created by these guys who have no intention to ever getting near any oil.
The price of oil would plummet to levels that are conducive to a more vibrant economy. And yes, a few yuppies would be poorer, but millions would be happier.
No new taxes are needed, no redistribution of wealth from “heroic producers” to “evil consumers”, just a simple rule that says “you can buy and you can sell, but you can’t speculate for speculation’s sake”.
This is not, and should not be, an OWS concrete proposal, but it’s one that the 99% of the American people can get behind. And it’s just the beginning.
There is a ghost walking around Wall Street, and it is the ghost of productive America killed by a parasitic class of speculators.


This article is part of the series "Redefining Riches"

  1. How Your 401k And IRA Rob You
  2. The Rags To Riches Trap
  3. You Are Not Going to Be Rich
  4. It’s the History, Stupid
  5. Ghosts and Demons

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Franklin @ October 17, 2011

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