There's a widening wealth gap in America. It took a generation, but the middle class in this country has been hollowed out.
Most people agree on that.
But they don't really know how it happened or who's really to blame – it's been obscured with false narratives, covered with "fake news."
The thing is, the truth's in front of us. We're living it in real time. It's just never discussed openly – for a reason.
The people who are behind this catastrophic American collapse have fooled folks into thinking this is all normal.
Well, it's anything but that…
Who to Blame for the Disappearing Middle Class
Republicans aren't to blame: Their old-school platform of a smaller federal government, fiscal conservatism, more power to the states, and belief that a lightly regulated path to working hard and standing on your own two feet is what made America the global bastion of entrepreneurship and helped create a middle class that is laudable and fair.
Democrats aren't to blame: Their old-school platform of a larger, more interventionist federal government, spending on social programs, supporting and safeguarding workers, all kinds of civil rights, protections for the environment, and their belief that government should stand behind those not able to stand on their own two feet, or who have been trampled by runaway businesses, helped create a middle class that is equally laudable and fair.
The two parties, with their visions and flaws balanced by democracy, made America great… once.
What happened is greedy, neo-con, profiteering Republican crony capitalists hijacked their party, while greedy, limousine liberal, profiteering Democrat crony capitalists hijacked their party. Together, as a new class of elites joined the Masters of the Universe, they began manipulating state apparatuses and banking for fun and profit…
A lot of profit.
The crony capitalists' principal enrichment tools are "financialization" and, as we'll see a little later this week, its manservant, "globalization."
Financialization is the retooling of the economy's production and distribution assets, consisting of made-in-America goods and services, into credit-driven banking and financial services products.
At its core, financialization is the transfer of low-risk, low-profit debt into high-risk, high-profit products.
The net result of the mass commodification of debt-based financial instruments and leveraged debt (grossly under-collateralized by low-risk debt) is rampant speculation.
This heavy betting, however, isn't undertaken just for the sake of pyramiding risks for speculative gains. These so-called "products" are now integral and necessary investment tools because traditional, safe investments don't yield adequate returns in the world of financialization.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), in 1980, financial services contributed 4.9% to the country's GDP. At its peak in 2006, that contribution had almost doubled to 8.3%.
More to the point, in terms of profitability, James Kwak, law professor at the University of Connecticut, calculated in 1980 the financial industry's profits as a share of total U.S. business profits was 7.5%. That share of all business profits in corporate America jumped to more than 41% by the mid-2000s.
U.S. GDP in 2016 was $18.56 trillion, according to the BEA. In full view of financial services' share of GDP (which is rising again) and its share of corporate profits (also on the march to new highs), it's impossible not to see the financialization of the U.S. economy.
Worse, it's actually become the beating black heart of the economy. It's happening that way by design…
How the Financialization Scam Became Settled Public Policy
About the Author
Shah Gilani is Chief Financial Strategist for Money Map Press and 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 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. He helped develop what has become known as the Volatility Index (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. On top of the free newsletter, as editor of The 10X Trader, Money Map Report and Straight Line Profits, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with the chance to earn ten times their money on trade after trade using a little-known strategy. Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on FOX Business' "Varney & Co."