September 16th, 2012
in Op Ed
It’s a fact. Financial services are a huge part of the economy.
Twenty years ago, financial services accounted for somewhere between 5% and 7% of U.S. gross domestic product, depending what you include in the definition of “financial services.” By the time markets peaked, and just before the mortgage bubble burst, that number had shot up to between 17% and 20%.
What’s fascinating to me, and should be to you, is that shuffling paper for fun and outrageous earnings got as big as it did.
Click on picture for larger view of oligarchy.
And just because some air in the bubble that drove a lot of those earnings gently escaped (not), that doesn’t mean the financial services machinery isn’t working overtime to pump up their earnings and profitability again. You know they’re working at it all the time.
I could go on and on about what this all means, and how problematic it is for the long term future of America, but that’s not the point of this message in a bottle.
The point is that we have become a nation of oligarchs (the powerful private interests of money men and oil men… same thing) running our government like a banana republic.
When the Tail Wags the Dog
But I do just want to say this about that first. What does it say about our ability to make things (which is what the capital markets are supposed to support), when what we’re making more and more of are the means to buy things; means of financing, means of consumerism, means of moving paper across thin air in a real world, where other countries are increasingly manufacturing the things we buy with the means provided to us by the men of means, the financial services money men? What does it all mean?
First and foremost, it means that money men are the tail wagging the dog. Maybe that’s why our economy is in the doghouse and unemployment is stubbornly, now structurally, so high.
But the dog I speak of isn’t just the economy. The dog that matters is the body of government that dictates our future by the choices it makes… on our behalf?
We can debate what they (our lovely legislators and the powers that prevail in the offices that matter) do on our behalf.
But there’s no debating what they do on behalf of the money men – who are tragically and criminally bought and paid for by big businesses across America (yes, it’s criminal, however Constitutional it may be… maybe we need some Constitutional changes… ya think?). And here’s the rub… That means increasingly by the money men whose “contributed” share to our GDP has become enormous.
So, is it any wonder that the men with the means to finance stuff, including campaigns and political parties en masse, are financing their own future pathway to making more and more money? No, there’s nothing to wonder about, that’s what’s happening; that’s what’s been happening.
That’s why there were no rules, regulations or laws governing so many of the derivative products that enriched money men to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars (think about that, hundreds of billions of dollars made in an unregulated business in America) while at the same time driving the country, and the world, to a place that ain’t Lover’s Lane, but where we were all screwed.
The Best Legislation Money Can Buy
But I digress.
So some laws were conjured up.
You know, like that Dodd-Frank monster, 2300 pages of double-spaced (between every letter as well as every line) rubbish, written as still unwritten, and with all those spaces in between, so loopholes could be inserted at will by the lawyers and lobbyists (same thing) of the money men. Frankly, Dodd-Frank is the best legislation money can buy. The proof is in the pudding.
The financial services industry and its earnings clout, if left unchecked, will continue to be politicized for the good of the parties, both of them (for heaven’s sake, why don’t we have a third and fourth party?), that write laws that make making money easier for them, the money men.
It’s about jobs, don’t ya know?
They’re there to finance business development and growth. And if we ever curtailed their power to make the business of America business, then where would we be? It’s about jobs. And I don’t mean your jobs. I mean their jobs – the money-men.
We’re caught in a vicious circle. The means of production, and more importantly in America today, the means of consumerism, are in the hands of the financiers and money men who own Congress.
I’m sick of it. I’m sick of Obama not putting them in their place, but instead lining his pockets and Nancy’s knickers with their money. And I’m sick that if Romney gets in to office, he’ll be even more in their back pocket, given where his bread has always been buttered.
I’m sick and tired of them all.
I’m sick that WE THE PEOPLE aren’t so sick of all this pimping and pandering to all these money-men that we throw them all out, that we don’t demand a third party of the people, by the people, FOR THE PEOPLE.
Are you sick too?
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About the Author
Shah Gilani is the managing editor of Wall Street Insights & Indictments, a seasoned veteran of Wall Street and former hedge fund manager. During his career, he was a successful trader and held a seat on the Chicago Board of Exchange, gained knowledge from the desks of Lloyd's Bank and gained experience from New York and Boston investment banks and trading houses. For a free online subscription to Wall Street Insights & Indictments, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org