Main St anger so intense some say "acts of violence" called for

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ByLoSellHi, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Main Street Tells Wall Street, ‘Get a Real Job’: Susan Antilla
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    Commentary by Susan Antilla

    Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) --
    Wall Street, meet Eric W. Haugaard, a civil engineer who designs water and sewer-line systems for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Haugaard says he had tears in his eyes as he watched Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, hopeful that politics would get more constructive and the economic crisis would get fixed. Today, he is disgusted when he thinks about “what Wall Street has done to average, honest, tax-paying, no-loopholes citizens,” and says it makes him ill when he considers that Congress is letting taxpayer-assisted financial outfits get rich “without producing anything of real value to our society.”

    Haugaard, one of dozens of readers who e-mailed me in response to a Nov. 3 column titled “Wall Street Cries ‘Feed Me’ or World Will End,” is despondent that, even after the economic horror of the past year, people in finance are unrepentant. “I want these swine prosecuted,” wrote Robert Carlini of Richmond, Michigan, an auto-industry executive who says he is a “staunch conservative.”

    In the 14 years I’ve written columns for Bloomberg News, I’ve had plenty of feedback from investors who said they lost money at the hands of corrupt brokers, plus a steady stream of vitriol from financial executives who say I’m clueless, stupid, and deserve to lose my job.

    I have never, though, been bombarded with anything like the fury and frustration expressed this time by people far removed from Wall Street, ranging from computer programmers to administrative assistants to the caretaker of an estate. Typically a handful of e-mails will float in; this time the number topped 60 and counting.

    Expressing Disillusion

    Chase Van Der Rhoer of HSBC Securities in New York, one of six Bloomberg customers from Wall Street who responded, said I had it all wrong. I was “uninformed” for painting all Wall Street firms with the same brush no matter whether they received a bailout. He suggested that an emotional outcry by the public shouldn’t be the basis of setting public policy. Four of the Bloomberg customers who wrote, though, expressed disillusion with how out-of-touch their own industry has become.

    Off Wall Street, the rage is palpable. Several readers said they were so enraged that acts of violence were called for against figures in finance. Most, though angry, managed to stake positions a tad more constructive. For starters, they are mystified that government is loaded with economic decision-makers who hail from finance. Obama’s top staff “seems to be tied more to Wall Street than to Main Street,” wrote Patrick Williams, a manager in Orlando, Florida.

    Treasury’s Goldmanites

    “If this administration really wanted to create policy and push agendas helpful to consumers, it would not have a Treasury Department populated by Goldmanites and other Wall Street alums,” wrote Melissa Huelsman, a lawyer in Seattle.

    A number of readers said that we should have simply tested the capitalist system and let financial firms fail. “Americans are innovators,” wrote Steven Smith, an out-of-work MRI technologist in Austin, Texas. “We would have figured out a new way, a better way to do business without the greedy monsters on Wall Street.” A great starting point would be to slash bankers’ pay 60 percent across the board, in the view of Richard Watson, a software writer in Johannesburg, South Africa. He figures that might lead to some smart people in finance relocating to jobs where people “produce something.” I hate to break it to you, Wall Street, but Main Street is puzzled about why the monetary rewards of the industry seem so out of synch with its social contribution. The work of Wall Street “doesn’t go toward curing cancer, feeding the world’s poor, creating new innovative technologies to take us to a post- carbon-powered world -- it does no real work,” wrote Wayne Wells, who works for a paper company in Eastover, South Carolina.

    Wall Street Rap

    We’ve heard the Wall Street rap on this. The world -- or at least a tiny, flush segment of it -- will suffer if limits are put on compensation. Innovation will go limp as talented financial workers quit for higher-paying jobs. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief Lloyd Blankfein told the Times of London last week that his firm fulfills a “social purpose” when it raises capital that helps companies grow.

    But Main Street isn’t up in arms about the capital-raising role of Wall Street. They’re upset because they are paying for the damage caused by credit-default swaps and other “innovations.” Terry Bailey of Auburn, Nebraska, an office assistant at a local college, says the financial industry is out of touch with the public and weighed down with an inflated view of its value. If new regulations lead to a stifling of innovation on Wall Street, Jim Ledbetter, an electric-utility engineer in Southaven, Mississippi, says “So what?”

    Ferraris Dusted Off

    So far, though, the reaction to Main Street’s ire has been an equally vociferous “So what,” as the financial industry prepares to dole out bonuses that will have the Ferrari dealers hustling to brush the dust off their inventory. That disconnect between what Main Street thinks and how Wall Street acts might reflect nothing more than obliviousness to the concerns of the average person. A second possibility is more troubling. If people on Wall Street have chits in with everybody that matters, who cares if the public is mad? Stewart Ewen, a Hunter College professor who writes on contemporary culture, tells me his guess is that Wall Street owns the decision makers and doesn’t care about the rest. If I thought the public had any money left to bet on it, I’d tell them to ante up that Ewen’s hunch is right.
  2. Hopefully this will lead to Obama being a One and Done President.

    With him, I hope many of those in congress and the senate - both parties - get thrown out on their collective asses.
  3. I could never imagine such a corrupt system.

    If I wasn't seeing record stockpiles of oil, copper and other commodities, or stocks trading at style P/E ratios, I wouldn't believe it.

    Obama's game plan appears to come out of the playbook of Greenspan.

    Bernanke is a cunt.
  4. This feels like the brewing that led to the Paris Commune of 1871
  5. Corey


    I think the worrying part here is how little the common public understands about the banking system. Investment banks make the economy tick. They lubricate the gears.

    The sham here wasn't bailing them out (though, the fact that they HAD to be bailed out was a tragedy) -- it was in not educating main street as to the role of these banks while it was happening.

    Now we have a misinformed, angry mob who wants to tear down an industry that does create "any real value." No real value? Sure. Tear 'em down. Watch all financial transactions grind to a halt. Watch credit dry up. Watch companies refuse to do deals because they can't appropriately hedge their risk, or can't meet counter-parties. Financial intermediaries play an enormous role any any developed economy. We need them.
  6. LOL

    House Bill 1388, introduced on March 9, 2009, “reauthorize(s) and reform(s) the national service laws” and creates a congressional committee that will analyze “whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed.”

    George Orwell saw it coming.
  7. marketwizards

    marketwizards Guest

    Wall street is racket.

    Why do you think the government created the SEC, FBI and rico act?

    but we know what happened to the SEC and news media and gov't FED---sold out to big money.

    These guys on wall street have given the license by the gov't to print money with their racket.

  8. I think you are the one who does not understand what Investment Banks do. They are essentially, parasites. Investment banks failing would have little to no effect on Main Street. Large retail banks failing would cause problems, however, there are plenty of small local banks who would have stepped up with time.

    The only economy that IBs make tick is the financial industry full of salesmen. There is no real economy there, it's just paper being moved around.
  9. There won't be "Acts of Violence".

    People just bitch and complain but do no more and will do no more.

    Just as this website and millions of other venues see constant bitching and whining from many none will act, only continued venting their lives frustrations and failures.

    I find it all amusing.
  10. zdreg


    your post shows a lack understanding of how capitalism works particularly the concept of creative destruction. banks and financial institutions should have been allowed to fail. thefailures are then gone. they would have been been reorganized and replaced as newcomers would entered the field and created new and more efficient financial institutions.

    (your use of common public is repetitious. it is like writing a female woman.)

    so far there is no angry mob. as to being misinformed your"mob'" is well informed to recognized quite well that it was the greed of highly paid executive s which got the US into this mess. of course the financial industry was encouraged and sometimes forced by the US government to take outrageous risk in order to increase poor and minority ownership of homes.
    #10     Nov 16, 2009