Many conservative writers and speakers are categorizing the Occupy Wall Street movement into a right vs. left, liberal vs. conservative issue. For example, Aaron Biebert at the 8pmwarrior.com writes in an open letter to the #ows protestors:
Impact investing, if pursued on a large scale, could become the next best thing to a sweeping overhaul of capitalism’s financial architecture. Nonetheless, neither socially responsible investing (in general) or impact investing (in particular) is a suitable substitute for redesigning the entire Wall Street system. Investors in the U.S.A. and abroad should pay attention to socially responsible investing, positive investing, impact investing and other financial accountability initiatives while moving forward with plans to redesign how we capitalize public ownership of business and industry.
Do precious metal prices reflect economic fundamentals or perceptions of price trend prospects? Silver sells around $30 an ounce and is near a 30-year high. Gold sells for more than $1,400 an ounce. Can gold and silver double from here, with silver already selling for more than five times typical producer costs? (Yes, the prices can double, but not likely.) Just what were J.P. Morgan analysts thinking in June 2010 when, with silver around $18 an ounce, they gave a long-term silver price forecast of $13 an ounce? Were they trying to turn the market?
Paul Farrell provides ten worthwhile observations in his forecast of a coming banking crisis. Essentially, he argues against buying stocks in an environment where market indices are about 70% off their lows. He sees two stock markets in America — one for the rich and another for everyone else. He explains how Wall Street skims from Main Street, rigs markets, and grasps vast winnings from socially worthless activities.
Investment markets have been unsettled of late, resulting in the worst quarter for major American stock indices since 2008. Are European G20 leaders correct in declaring there is too much debt in the world? Or is President Obama’s team right in pushing for more stimulus? Who holds the real economic insights? Those who say we must borrow our way forward to recovery?
The emerging bank reform legislation might be viewed in a singularly positive light if the reforms were not the byproduct of a skewed capital system that made several million Americans undeservedly powerful and rich while Congress slept. One could feel downright hopeful about the future of American banking if moral hazard had not contaminated the land. But too much polluted water has gone under the bridge. The good in the reforms is counteracted by the poisons that produced the need for remedial interventions.
As long as the value of the yuan in international trade is not an issue addressable by the international community, China’s policy of growing its money supply (M1 & M2 equivalents) at over 20% annually is the same thing as China declaring war on the world. As thinking people have come to understand, a large country’s monetary policies can impact the long-term economic sovereignty of other countries in the global trade era as effectively as military policies.
If the truth sets people free, why is America becoming less free on the heels of twenty-five years of “free market capitalism”? Granted, banks could not do every last thing they pleased (although hedge funds pretty much could). But banks did receive enormous breadth of latitude for self-regulation. The theory was that the free market profit motive would facilitate naturally functioning checks and balances. Instead, the whole world got a taste of what happens when virtue sits on the sidelines while greed is empowered as the referee.
Free markets and their attentive politicians are always serving up something new. May’s service — an 872 point Dow Jones blowout — clearly dampens recovery hopes. Is it right that financial markets impact the underlying economy so remarkably? Could a different financial architecture help mitigate this problem — an architecture that does not shortchange honorable merit when it comes to financial rewards?
The market’s recent plunge to new closing lows complicates the recovery picture for many market bulls, including people who believe the regulatory reforms underway will eventually cure whatever ails us. Recent market action — including the May 6 ‘Flash-Crash’ — should be unsettling to individuals who think free market mechanisms are all we need.