Friday, March 12, 2010

A Semblance Of A Level Playing Field: Some Day?

There is an article today in the New York Times about Lehman Brothers and how they manipulated their accounting to hid debt on their books. I read about Lehman and their cast of bright idiots in Andrew Sorkin's book TOO BIG TO FAIL. The article concludes with the thought that while nothing criminal was done, that there may be grounds for civil action against those that managed the corporation. In other words, you can steal, just don't use a gun. I think Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, would agree with my statement that anything a bank does, short of using a gun, is OK. The actions these men, that ran Lehman, took were in my book FRAUD!!! But, I am a simple person, and I like to keep things simple because they are easier to understand that way. We should build special prisons for financial fraud in my opinion. And, until the laws are written to protect the investor, the consumer of investment products and other financial products, we are going to continue to see more crap like Lehman going under and taking people's money with them.

We do not have capitalism in this country as so many people think we do or should. What we have is a system where lobbyists extract favors in legislation to make certain people very rich at the expense of other people. In America, as elsewhere, it is the working people that suffer from the frauds that are permitted by law to continue. That is what the big fight over financial reform and better and more comprehensive regulations in Washington is all about. If the Congress levels the playing field, then consumers will have a fighting chance because those that hid debt from their balance sheet will go straight to jail and will not collect $200 billion dollars and will not pass GO. I am talking about you Wall Street bankers, those poor SOBs that only make a few million dollars a year and travel around the world in their corporate jets (a business expense).

One of these days, a lot more people are going to understand just how rigged the financial game is in favor of the bankers, and then maybe we will get the change needed, in the way business is permitted to be done on Wall Street, to bring back a semblance of a level playing field.

Stay tuned.


Julie Schuler said...

I dunno. People are pretty dumb. They all imagine that they are going to be millionaires someday, like Joe the Plumber.

LceeL said...

Shakespeare said, in 'Hamlet', "Neither a borrower, nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

There are elements of this that speak to all of us - these days, one cannot survive without borrowing and credit - but those who would lend you money are NOT your friends - and one would be foolish to think them so. They have forgotten, in many cases, how to themselves be true - and in losing the ability to be true, they've lost the ability to be true and truthful with others.

moneythoughts said...

In the 21ST century, it is almost impossible to live in our complex society without using credit. Go to a hotel and try checking in without a credit card. Unless you pay them cash money up front they are not going to give you a room. Try buying an airline ticket on the Internet without some form of credit.

What I am talking about today is the behavior of those on Wall Street that run these corporations and the 'tricks" they think they are using to fool, they think, everyone. They need to hang a few of these fellows out front by the statue of Alexander Hamilton in lower Manhattan. I bet that would get a few CEOs' attention.

winslow said...

The reason there is so much discontent in the U.S. today is because most of us do understand that this fraud and dishonesty goes on. I was hoping when Obama was elected things would change for the average middle-class person. What we have seen so far is that most of these shenanigans are accepted and nothing is being done to change the mentality of people in business or politics.

Butch said...

moneythoughts, here is another guy trying to get your message out. If follows the story on 60 Minutes last night in their comment section on the show, "Wall Street: Inside the Collapse". Scroll down to the comments part and look for a comment by mike60min March 15, 2010 8:07 AM EDT. You can comment on his comment. I thought it was a really good segment. If you didn't see it you can watch it on this link also.;cbsCarousel