Who would ever say such a thing? Well, it came from the lips of one who knows Wall Street via public broadcasting before the 2008 crash. I’ve been waiting for someone to voice the tale in print with similar candor.
It finally appeared April 20 in this column by Roger Lowenstein in the The New York Times.
In his column — “Gambling With the Economy” — Lowenstein makes note of the SEC charges against Goldman Sachs, and says those charges “go to the heart of how Wall Street has strayed from its intended mission.”
“Wall Street’s purpose, you will recall, is to raise money for industry: to finance steel mills and technology companies and, yes, even mortgages. But the collateralized debt obligations involved in the Goldman trades, like billions of dollars of similar trades sponsored by most every Wall Street firm, raised nothing for nobody. In essence, they were simply a side bet — like those in a casino — that allowed speculators to increase society’s mortgage wager without financing a single house.”
Finally, someone stands up to say, ‘These profits are not made by investing in our country and its manufacturing might; no, they come from bets that are made with the knowledge that the game is fixed and the bettor will win.’
The profits come from Wall Street’s churning of our money — ’suckers’ money — that Wall Street uses to make bets that this or that ‘financial instrument’ will fail. And when the instrument fails, they rake in the dough.
There are no ‘industrials’ in the Wall Street Industrial Average. It’s all based simply on churning money that goes back and forth between the big guys, who use their fixed game to rob from people’s retirement funds and savings.
Read Lowenstein and then call your Congress representatives and call your members of the U.S. Senate via the Capitol operator (two-zero-two, two-two-four, three-one, two-one).
Tell them to pass financial reform, because we’re sick of being used, and the country needs investment, not gambling.