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Reply #28: What's Really Bankrupt -- The Wall Street Model: Unintelligent Design [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
28. What's Really Bankrupt -- The Wall Street Model: Unintelligent Design
Here's a bit of reality from Pam Martens:



What's Really Bankrupt

The Wall Street Model: Unintelligent Design


By PAM MARTENS
CounterPunch.org
Weekend Edition
September 20 / 21, 2008

Wall Street is collapsing not because of bad mortgage debt or lack of capital or over-leverage. Those are merely symptoms. Wall Street is collapsing because it deserves to collapse; it needs to collapse in order for America to survive. The economist Joseph Schumpeter called it creative destruction, a system where outdated models collapse to make room for new innovation.

Wall Street of the past decade never really had a business model as much as it had a business creed: greed is good; leveraged greed is even better.

The fact that Wall Street is collapsing is a given. How it survived as long as it did under its corrupted model is the question that will be debated in history books for the next generation.

For example, imagine a business model that bases remuneration to brokers on how much money they make for their Wall Street employer and not one dime for how well their customers portfolios perform. A Wall Street broker receives remuneration that rises from approximately 30 to 50 per cent of the gross commission based on their cumulative trading commissions with zero regard to how well the clients accounts have done. There is no acknowledged internal mechanism in any of the major Wall Street firms to gauge the overall success of the accounts the broker is managing.

The industry has been irreconcilably incentivized to corruption just as brokers have been socialized to silence. The reason we are seeing a stampede this week into U.S. Treasury securities is that much of this money belonged there in the first place, not in esoteric mortgage backed securities, junk bonds, commodity funds or annuities backed by AIG. Brokers put their clients safe money in these unsuitable investments because their Wall Street employer dangled a seductive financial inducement. A broker receives less than $1,000 in gross commissions (gross meaning before their firm takes their 50 to 70 per cent cut) on $100,000 of longer dated Treasuries. Putting that same $100,000 in a junk bond or mortgage-backed security or annuity could generate $3,000 or more. In other words, the financial incentive has created an artificial demand. And, as must inevitably happen, the true state of that demand is just now catching up with the true glut of supply.

SNIP...

There is no sincere plan by this administration to help America or Americans. There is only a plan to slow the financial collapse until after the November elections by throwing a politically palatable amount of money at it and a plan to continue to blame it on a housing bust.

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/martens09202008.html



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