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- Limited best seller Inside Job: The Looting of the American Savings and Loans
- Now, AT&T, the once proud flagship of American commerce uses outright fraud to boost earnings
- Another New Thought: Helicopter money and fiscal rules
Perhaps in the Lockean vein . . .
The return of the deadly 403 block forces the post here in response to saldeck.
This week's performance of NYSE traders is primitive; whether that falls within the Lockean paradigm or not we'll set aside for the moment. . . but, there is a suggestion of going back in time and changing motivation.
Many economist in the past have remarked on the Wall Street Culture which in earlier days - when traders were more conscientious about their social role - would restrain themselves - at least on occasion - and consider their responsibilities toward the world and their friends and family.
This is no longer a factor in the "grasping hand - devil take the hindmost" current greed oriented credo.
Players are making it obvious: more precisely, the picture of arrogant, self-regulated greed presented to the public, and even more specifically, to the non-pros who dare enter the inner sanctum of market activivty in search of advanture or in some part preparation for a dismal future built on today's enticing traps. More than one informed (and sensitive to public opinion) Economist has declared that it is a hopeless quest to detemrine what the market will do on any given day. Galbraith, the elder, declared openly that he had given up trying to make sense of the market's activity. This from a man with extraordinary perspicacity in his chosen field - one of the elite economists.
Markets have become no more than a speculative game with little relation to business or investment. Once the IPO is out and the minor fraction is doled out to the issuing enterprise and the remaining major portion goes to brokers rewarding themselves for the cleverness in serving their favored clients with the offering, equities have no further constructive use except, if they go up, the executives at the helm of the corporation can bargain for higher bonuses and exhorbitant salaries, no matter how short-lived the rise. Beyond that, the market appeals to the gambling instincts of participants in the game of acquisition and disposition in a timely manner - which ends up in the measurement in dollars to see who gained and who lost today. Even more restricted, given current market activity, the performance of the past hour or past five minutes may be all that matters. It is almost no longer a matter of disposition determined by outlook extended as far as next week or even this weekend. When the market upens 200 or 300 down - or up for that matter - and an hour or two later is at the other end of the scale, this has nothing to do with productivity or sales for the business attched to the "equities" involved.
This week makes a mockery of any belief in free mrkets. The wild, abrupt changes in the patterns of sales on a daily basis strains credulity if one is in search of integrity and/or reason other than the gambling atmosphere which characterizes today's markets. In this modern interconnected world, conditions on the other side of the globe are as essential to fair analysis of prospects as are the conditions facing the competition or suppliers of any enterprise no metter where they're located. And conditions do not change that rapidly that in one part of a morning or afternoon the swingin market value can cover 300 points or more and go the opposite directinwiththe same pattern thefollowign day. We know that those conditions cannot recover or worsen in a day with the flip of a policy statement. Tomorrow the situation will be as desperate or as rosy as it was yesterday.
What we have is activity based on false valuation, rumor and innuendo - all planned for the obvious purpose. Today, we have a consistently flagging international business environment, which was manipulated to create the impression of substance and sleepinggiant preparign to spring into action at any given instant. Tha tis nto to be that much must be apparent to all, but they choose to ignore mention of it in the hope that weaknesses can be reset and reused tomorrow, everything forgotten or overlooked and the game in the markets would carry on divorced from the true swiss cheese business abd government underpinnings.
If John Locke were here today, he'd deny that there was any relation in today's ethics to eras past when expectations of integrity and reputation were more important for social standing than today's questionable standards, except in certain small circles. One false move or open lie and the reputation was cause for ex-communication or ostracism. Today, the bigger the tale and the more obvious the lie, the more in step with social values the braggart is viewed.
And the bellow of the braggart behind the wild fluctuations is inteded to ease his trading on the vulnerability of the uninitiated while distracting attention from his primary mission in life. It's all built on misleading and sudden surprises, builds nothing, and provides no foundation for any future value. It's today, it's this hour, this minute, this trade. To squeeze JM Keynes's observation into today's time frame, It's not death awaiting us in the long term, it's disgrace or a feeling of uselessness awaiting us if we can't bilk someone with this deal.
It's not only in the stock markets that this attitude prevails, it's rampant in all of society today - though at the moment market behavior may be the most visible and most easily charted for public view.
This attitude has become the "right way to behave" and "they" don't fail to put it to work.