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Posted by on Nov 5, 2010 in Opinion, TG Roundup, మోహనమురళీ గానలహరి (MMGL)

Why the Rage on Feds and Wall Street? (With Audio)

On my show today, I referred to the Wall Street Banks as pigs. I might have used some other strong language to decry the political and economic climate in the United States. A question was raised why my rhetoric against the Feds and Wall Street is so strongly worded! In other words, “Why the rage, Mohan?”

I am not here to make apologies for my rhetoric, but I have a responsibility to explain myself.

In the last 20 years, I made good money in buying and selling stocks. I also lost a lot of money at various junctures. Make no mistake about it, I take full credit when I made money and take full responsibility for my actions when I lot money. Thus, I am a true capitalist. But, I would like to describe myself as an ethical capitalist with a heart. A capitalist who lives and lets live, if you will!

That said, I am blessed to be smart enough to figure out the system and navigate it to my advantage. In a sense, I am personally not adversely affected  by the Wall Street and the Fed shenanigans. However, not many people are as blessed as I am.

I saw a 78-year old man, who should now be retired, but cleaning bathrooms in a fast-food joint. Why? Because he has to earn a living at that age as he lost his life savings in a Wall Street led, Fed fed bubble. When I witnessed this I first felt sad for the man and then angry. I read about a little girl, whose both parents were laid off. She asked Santa to give at least one of her parents a job. That’s all she wanted for Christmas. As I read it, tears rolled down my cheeks and then I was very angry. Angry at the Feds and then at the Wall Street and the administration.

Over the years I read a lot of articles and books about manias, panics and depressions – which included the Great Depression. They all have one common thread – debt and speculative excesses aided by monetary blunders and failure of regulators.

A lot of people in the so called ownership society give you lectures about the so called ‘personal responsibility’ or ‘owning-up to ones own fate.’ True – if people put themselves in that situation, they should own-up to their actions. But, many are the victims of a completely rigged system of crony capitalism where the ‘haves’ always have more and the ‘have nots’ always get the short end of the stick.

When some of the perpetrators themselves or manipulated zombies lash out and blame the victims, I can’t help but think that – for the rapist, the skirt of the victim is always too high and the blouse is always too tight.

True, people who defaulted on their loans should pay or else lose their house. But one has to stop and ask, “What was the cause of their losing the job which then resulted in falling on tough times, followed by defaults” Every time I ask this question, for a vast majority of the job losses, the answer comes up as the three mainly responsible parties are the Federal Reserve Board, the Wall Street and the Congress.

  1. The Fed for focusing on ‘growth’ at any cost , including the formation of dangerous bubbles.
  2. Wall Street for constantly cajoling the Feds and the Congress to make concessions to them and transform – in their favor and against the public’s interest – a ‘functional’ system of capitalism to a completely crony-capitalism.
  3. The law makers and the cops (SEC) for not only failing to enforce the law of the land, but also for bending the rules against the best interest of a majority of the public. Be it due to blinding ideology or sheer corruption, these guys have a lot of explaining to do.

I have to make one clear distinction here . My rhetoric is against the establishment and the leadership, but not the mid-level managers or the low level worker bees.

My ‘rage’ against these forces is neither new, nor manufactured for the popularity of my show. It was well documented during the internet bubble of the 90s (You can see this from many articles I have written on Silicon Investor as Cynic2005. And, yes, I used to have a good following on that board.) However, even though I kept abreast of the news all along, I did not write much on the economy in the early 2000s due to the need to focus on my career.

The devastating consequences of the actions of the past have been foreseen by many, including me.  I see even more disastrous consequences of current actions by these three forces. In the big picture, my rage and the language I use are the least damaging. In fact, if one person pays more attention and becomes more skeptical of the systemic manipulation and averts the inevitable disastrous consequences in his/her life, I consider my job to be done.

If one person had to ask me, “Why the rage?”, that is one too many for me. A better question to pose to me would be, “Is that necessary?” To which I do not have a clear answer. Nevertheless, this is my answer to the question.

I will leave this note with the following food for thought:

  • Did you ever have to starve because you are a) unemployed, b) had no money and c) your future looked so bleak that you did know where your next meal will come from?
  • Did you ever dread the fact that your kids could face a similar fate you did  in the point I just made above?

I don’t know about you – but I did- both of them!

That’s why I relate to those who suffer more so than those make them suffer.

That’s where my ‘rage’ comes from. And, my question to everybody is why are you not enraged and revolt against this system of crony-capitalism?