Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mr. President, Wall Street IS Main Street

Let's not be naive....

For the past year, Barack Obama and the Democrats have been demonizing the U. S. Banking and Security institutions under the term 'Wall Street". Every issue related to a negative economic impact has been ascribed to the 'greedy' people on 'Wall Street'. Every social ill has been accredited to 'Wall Street'. Job losses are the fault of 'Wall Street'. Financial executives using an effective and legitimate business tool - a corporate jet, are excoriated as examples of 'Wall Street' greed and abuse. The focus on profits and increasing returns has been dubbed 'Wall Street' greed and excess.

But in reality, 'Wall Street' is virtually all American citizens. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, about 25 million Americans own stock in their employer -- twice as many people as owned stock at all nearly 30 years ago. Meanwhile, roughly half of all Americans own stock -- through mutual funds and directly in brokerage accounts. When you add in the Pension Plan's investment's, Insurance Companies' investment's, Churches and Synagogue investment's, Savings & Loan investments, 401K and IRA investments, and even private trust fund investments, this country's probably close to 100% invested in the stock market - aka, 'Wall Street'.  And President Obama knows all of these things.

Those investments represent people's savings for their children's education; their plans for businesses; their retirement; their donations to charities; their bulwark against poverty and tragic illness; their freedom from government dependency.  Not greed.  

But President Obama appears to be completely blind to that intrinsic linkage between American citizens and the Trillions of dollars of capital that have been invested by those citizens in the equity of American businesses, and that has now become lost.  All he and the Democrats present as the bogeymen are a few high-paid executives who manage the operational engine of America's wealth and long term well-being.

In this morning's press briefing with the UK's PM Brown, here's how he addressed his concern with the massive 40-60 percent loss of our country's wealth these past few months:

"What I'm looking at is not the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market, but the long-term ability for the United States and the entire world economy to regain its footing. And, you know, the stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics. It bobs up and down day to day, and if you spend all your time worrying about that, then you're probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong.
Now, having said that, the banking system has been dealt a heavy blow. It has to do with many of the things that Prime Minister Brown alluded to: lax regulation, massive over-leverage, huge systemic risks taken by unregulated institutions, as well as regulated institutions. And so there are a lot of losses that are working their way through the system. "

He lay's the entire situation at the feet of 'Wall Street'. Not one mention of the culpability of the government in it's promotion of social policy via Fanny and Freddy; not one mention of Senator's and Representatives blocking legislation to halt those inane policies; not one mention of Senators and Representatives causing run's on banks and insurance companies; not one mention of the foreboding anti-capital and investment statement made by he and the other Democrats throughout the past two years; no mention of the anti-investment tax policies he has just announced; no mention of fixing one of the main causal issues of bank's ill-liquidity, the 'Mark to Market' regulation initiated by the Democrats.

He equates the stock market's catastrophic decline to the un-importance of a political poll, and then announces a reshaping of the nations health care system, and the establishment of an unnecessary tax on carbon, that will devastate the economy even further. Going further, he changes the tax code in a way that will make it less attractive for private capital to invest in the very 'troubled' assets that the banks need to shed.

It seems possible to deduce one of two explanations from these observations: President Obama is either a complete fool, or his agenda is other than fixing the economy.

I choose to believe the latter.


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