One by one the lights are being turned off in our "shining city on a hill."
And Wall Street's greedy hand prints are all over many of the darkened switchboxes.
Of course, politicians' grubby, filthy fingerprints are everywhere too; but there isn't enough cyberspace to launch into when discussing that black hole.
Today's indictment is about Wall Street.
This time my Wells Notice, titled "industry capture", is going out to the entire Wall Street enterprise.
You've heard about regulatory capture. I just wrote about its dark side earlier this week.
Regulatory capture is when regulators become captives of the individuals and firms they are supposed to be watching, regulating, and disciplining when they break the law.
"Industry capture" is beyond just regulatory capture. Here's what I mean...
Industry capture, which is unique to only a couple of American industries (hint: oil is the other one), is when the industry itself becomes so omnipotent, so all-consuming in our lives, so all-consuming of our money, so filthy rich that it buys and sells government officials, legislators, administrations, and presidents. So powerful that it has effectively captured the nation.
What isn't spoken about, what isn't generally seen (although most of you who read Money Morning see it), is that Wall Street holds our nation captive.
Wall Street's Twists and Turns
Far from being mere unintended consequences on the road to facilitating capital formation and anchoring the capital markets, Wall Street turned a fairly straightforward one-way street leading to more, bigger, and better businesses across the country and the world into a superhighway with more twists and turns than a grand prix course.
And worse, there are no speed limits, and the roads go both ways at the same time, and the toll booths are manned by Armani-clad, Manolo Blanik-wearing bankers, traders and their flame-retardant and blame-retardant suit-wearing managers, and executives that tally the take.
How did an industry that accounted for between 5% to at most 7% of GDP in this country in the 1980s go to being responsible for between 17% and 20% of GDP by 2007?
That's a lot of paper shuffling for some very lofty fees and fringe benefits.
But, of course, our GDP was made all the better and more stable and secure because of the Herculean efforts of all those banksters and pranksters... NOT!
We've been set up like bowling pins. Used like mailboxes in an alley where the Street's bills pile up with public's name on them, special-delivered at the direction of the new postmasters, Jamie D., Lloyd B., and Victor P., or DBP & Company for short.
Yeah DBP as in don't bother pretending you don't know we own your asses. Their mantra is "we make it rain, we bring the pain, we tally the gain, thank you again."
Industry capture is a dead end for us, but a highway to riches for our captors.
If we're ever going to get off this unlucky four-leaf clover interchange where we're going round and round ending up at the same toll booths again and again, we're going to have to fire most of the politicians in America, most of the bank executives, and most of the captured regulators.
And for that matter, the current president, who spoke a tough game but was himself captured by Wall Street money and fiddled with healthcare while Wall Street burned on.
Not that Mitt, whose glove is full of Wall Street money, will be any better. He might be worse.
Ron Paul, where in heaven's name are you? Have you forsaken us?
By the way, I'm not leaving you hanging as to the games that turned Wall Street into easy street.
I detailed the cold, hard facts about the "unintended consequences" that have been planned all along. It's called high frequency trading ( HFT) and it has the potential to kill the markets. To read my article from yesterday about the dangers of HFT click here.
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- Money Morning:
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About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.