In a world where real competition, modern technology and lack of special government standing means most American businesses have no choice but to adapt and innovate — Wall Street's wimp's only apparent skill is rigging the game.
In fact, on Wall Street there have always been only two basic ways to make money. The first and most difficult: Be a great investor — to the best investors go the profits, rewarding those who are best at picking winning businesses for America and punishing those who fail through the loss of their money. The second, and seemingly preferred method, exploit those who know less than you and take their money, even if you have to change the laws to do so.
Now, this second business was much easier to pull off prior to the Internet and 24-hour Exchanges etc. as technology is the enemy of any business that makes its living overcharging customers who know no better or are given no other choice.
So bankers, facing an onslaught of web-driven transparency and reduced profitability during the last decade along with an increasingly educated customer-base became anxious to change the laws in 2000 and are even more anxious to protect those changes now.
While things like stock and bond trading became a very low margin business because of modern information — the legalization in 2000 of a secretive market for crooked insurance with no transparency or accountability has been an absolute boon.
They called it credit derivatives — where banks and insurers offer to effectively "insure" financial assets. For instance, they were used to insure much of the real estate and pension liabilities in America the past 10 years.
To make money, the banks exploit two loopholes. The first — overcharge customers by depriving them of the type of competitive pricing only possible on an exchange like the New York Stock Exchange or Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
And the second, exploit the lack of transparency and to hide the fact that you are keeping little or no money to pay claims while selling insurance and collecting fees on every house and pension payment in America.
The key to success here is that when there is a default or claim against that so-called credit insurance — the banks keep all the past payment — and the taxpayer under threat of collapse pays off the claims while getting nothing in return.
This quite simply, is a brilliant way to steal our money.
Now this method of "business" is only possible if the government continues to allow these crooked insurance contracts to be written in secret, allows them to hold little or no money in reserve for payment and allows them to sell enough coverage on enough vital national assets that if there is a default — the taxpayer has no choice but to pay.
Needless to say, J.P. Morgan & Co. has never had more revenue and the Goldman Sachs bonus pool has never been bigger.
Considering the $23.7 trillion of taxpayer money being used to support these Corporate Communists one would hope they could at least make a few billion in profits with it. In context, making a few billion risking a few trillion is a rather pathetic return after all.
As we talked about last week — allowing these outdated banks to take control of our government and change the rules so they are protected from the natural competition and reward systems that have created so many innovations in our country, you not only steal from the citizens on behalf of the least worthy but you also doom them by trapping the capital that would have been used to generate new innovation and, most tangibly in our current situation, jobs.
We don't want a government commandeered by those in our banking system who have failed and been passed over by technological advancements, innovation and flat out smarts.
The government's job is to restore the rules of investment, not indulge those who want to unfairly sustain their wealth and power at our nation's expense.
What we want, is a Wall Street that would attract men and women who would seek to be the next Warren Buffett, or great venture capitalist. Men and women competing to analyze the countless ideas of our best and brightest — investing in those who will best be able to bring their innovations to America and the world.
To tell your congressman, go to Morning Meeting site and heed the call.