Of all the things I could blame on Obama, there is one that I cannot, and it is his or anyone's ability to give the wealthiest Americans any reason to maintain some sense of patriotism when it comes to the NYSE. I'm sure that there are some conversations I probably should have heard over the past few months on Bloomberg, but I decided that the $100 subscription to the podcast was not worth it. Maybe this quarter, considering whatever bonus I might keep after I buy my iPad, I'll think about getting jiggy in the market again.
As you know, the NYSE is being sold to Germans.
If that doesn't make you stop and think what's going wrong in America, then reconsider the fact that Budweiser is not owned by Anheuser Busch. Remember that? Nothing is American but brand names it seems, and nobody in America makes anything except cool ideas. We don't even make money any more. Wall Street is for sale.
I don't quite understand how or why this happened which is really strange considering the rules about foreigners owning American banks. It seemed to be a no-brainer to keep the Feds out of the banking business to allow any number of international investors to buy Wamu or Wachovia, but there were rules. Not real rules, I suppose, but the kinds of rules that apply in dorms at the LSE - you know, conventions that keep the kids thinking they are really and truly civilized, but are actually nothing more than dormhouse rules.
There is one sparkling hope, which is that Germans maintain the sort of grounding we have seen in Merkle over her regime, no foolishness when it comes to big finances. Perhaps as well there will be a sort of cultural sensibility in the new ownership which will be a bit more intolerant of the sort of monkeyshines (to put it mildly) that have ruined so many fortunes and created so many empty ones. But I don't know, and I haven't studied that level of high finance in quite some time. Sadly, I haven't developed the sort of gut I would have hoped to when I began studying economics several years ago, and I feel rather like the guy who can only program Excel macros, trying to make sense of what Larry Ellison does.
I do remember when the Obama administration attempted to put a certain set of shackles on executive pay and the quickness with which that was both shouted down and evaded. I have no confidence that there is anyone who might have been more capable than the vengeful and powerful Eliot Spitzer in putting the appropriate bite down on people with f*k you money. And I know a bloody lot will starve before anybody short of a Vladimir Putin clamps down on the anybody like George Soros.
I listened to a podcast last night that actually put into words the kind of resignation many Americans might someday fear. "At least in an empire, where you have no vote, you don't feel so disgusted that your government is screwing you over." Living with no choice is always easier than living with a choice. It's so tragic that so often so many poor choices are made.
So I guess it's time to resubscribe to Zerohedge.