Are We Our Own Worst Enemy?


Irwin Kellner declares, "We have met the enemy and he is us" (Oct. 27, 2008). How so? Kellner, MarketWatch's chief economist, says we wanted to kiss a frog and turn it into a prince. Like children in a fantasy world we demonstrated credulity. We bought into the Wall Street lie that high risk securities made from subprime loans (sows' ears) could be spun into silk purses. We wanted money to grow on trees! Well, Wall Street showed us it could grow money on trees and eat our free lunch, too! Now we have to pay for ‘sweet little lies’ made viable by ignorance and greed.

Wildly Changing Dow Reveals Injustice Of Markets


Today's massive stock market rally testifies that democratic capitalism has become a bizarre way of organizing a society. We're not a democratic republic in the sense we once were, since leveraged speculation now explains our hopes and challenges more than any system of political representation. Let's be honest about it: Anytime the fate of a nation, or perhaps the world, rides on the overwhelming influence of bets made on paper assets with merely discretionary value, the system has passed the tipping point and has become irrational and unjust.

The DJIA Down 40% at 8,378: Where To From Here?


What a week! The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 8,378, down 40% from its 52 week high. The NYSE index, a broader measure of stock market pain closed on Friday at 5,247, a numbing 47% devaluation from its 52 week high. Likewise, the S&P 500 is off some 43% from its 52 week high. Regardless of the stock mix in the indexes, the numbers are sobering. What should Americans make of the situation? Is this a time to buy? Hold? Or sell?

Contrarian Theory: Are Americans Ready to Capitulate?


Some may find it ironic that when stock market capitulation occurs in the current bust cycle, even Mark Hulbert will not know except in his rear view mirror — so he claims. Meanwhile, he is helping the American investor understand better than before just what capitulation is, and is not. There is a certain value in this, at least to the practitioners of long cycle contrarian investing.

Economic Reforms America Needs Now


Here comes the debate about regulating Wall Street, right on schedule. Three great problems exist. First, the rule-making is tardy. We’re locking the barn door after the herd has been rustled and shipped to other shores. Second, we’ve learned that the watchdogs in regulatory agencies and securities rating organizations are wolves. Instead of running them off we’ll see to it that they have their usual positions of influence when the next chapter of Wall Street unfolds. Third, we need a few good macro-level changes instead of an avalanche of micro-management rules.

The Fed's Easy Money: What Does $100 Billion Buy?


How should American taxpayers feel about the decision of the U.S. Treasury to send $100 billion of newly minted FED money to nine of Wall Street's biggest banks? Perhaps this new strategy is an improvement upon last week's Treasury brainstorms, but it is still $100 billion of inflation stimulating money that would not be needed if Wall Street had been a proper steward of its trust.

The Obama Administration: Is it Bush III?


David Weidner says that J.P. Morgan’s Dimon will be the Obama camp’s first choice for the next Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Does America really need another Wall Street C.E.O. as Treasury Secretary? What more does it take than the Paulson experience to help voters see the consequences of putting a Wall Street elite in charge of the nation’s money?

Wall Street's Retirement Savings Monopoly Should End


Wall Street has enjoyed astonishing success in convincing voters and the U.S. Congress that it is the best place for retirement savings. With its ‘wall-to-wall’ lobbing technique, the Street convinced federal legislators to provide remarkable incentives for Americans to send large chunks of their monthly earnings to New York City. No religion can match the enormity of this kind of tithe revenue. But, then, what is the religion of Wall Street if not the religion of money? And what is the ethos of Wall Street unless it is self-indulgence and unlimited pride?

Is It Time To Buy Back Into Wall Street?

Wall Street has a problem. Its soiled leaders know they must act fast to convince the public to buy back in. Their argument is that money thrown into the market while share prices are depressed will produce greater returns than if people wait. After all, don’t bubbles always re-inflate once the government blows massive amounts of taxpayer money into them?

Bubble Blowing: A Response to Vanguard's Bogle


Vanguard’s Bogle is right: “We’re letting the nuts run the insane asylum.” But does the stock market have to be an insane asylum? Is a place that trades on irrationality the right place for our retirement savings? You be the judge. Wall Street says, “Yes!” But they get the commissions, fees, and proprietary trading platforms by which to shake down the public. Then, too, when elite traders (traitors) get bored with the rewards of mere pillage, they can use leveraged derivatives to risk the nation’s tranquility.

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