Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Der Spiegel: Out of Control - The Destructive Power of the Financial Markets

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There are a lot of interesting longer form stories out lately - wish I had time to fully read all of them, but I am trying to pass along some that might be of interest to FMMF readers.  Der Spiegel has quite an interesting expose & "opinion piece" on how financial markets have reached the stage they are dominating economies, rather than vice versa like it should (used to) be.  Certain people such as Paul Volcker (who thinks the only major positive innovation of the financial industry the past few decades is the ATM machine) would agree.  [Jun 26 2009:  Bloomberg - Volcker Marginalized: Our Life of Financial Oligarchy Does not Change] [Sep 10, 2009: Goldman Sachs CEO - "Ok I Admit It, Some of our Financial Innovations are Socially Useless"]  Obviously the banking class of the U.S. and U.K. would disagree - and if you disagree with them you believe in class warfare.   The truth lies in the middle but the contention here is many parts of the 'financial market' have now become a leach on the economy, rather than a support.  Middlemen who extract an increasingly heavy tax ... and burden, for their 'service'.  Especially true since the massive deregulation brought on by the Robert Rubin's and Lawrence Summers of the world.  Further, many of the best and brightest minds have been drawn to this arena due to the financial rewards - potentially retarding other parts of the economy.

The view by Der Spiegel takes it to a more extreme view than I have.

Speculators are betting against the euro, banks are taking incalculable risks and the markets are in turmoil. Three years after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the financial industry has become a threat to the global economy again. Governments missed the chance to regulate the industry, and another crash is just a matter of time.

[Apr 12, 2011: NYMag - The Revolving Door Between Washington and Wall Street]
[Jun 18, 2010: Gambling With Other People's Money]

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