AristotleMuch ado has been made in the media about the market decline, the bailouts, TARP, and the excesses on Wall Street. The average guy on the street has had his fill of listening to the constant scandals, price declines, loss of jobs, and real fear of a big depression. For many, opening their 401-K statement puts a knot in the pit of their stomach and the resolve to have to delay their retirement a few more years. Many people stoically accept their victimhood with a sense of camaraderie, comparing their brokerage statements with their peers during their morning coffee breaks. Despite this outward bravado, a sense of hatred is developing with many passive investors regarding the markets, traders, speculators, and the whole system. This isn't the hatred described by Descartes, but is a more insidious hatred, a type of hatred described by Aristotle. This is the hate that results in the destruction of the entire capitalist system. Right now, speculators and traders aren't very popular on Main Street, being blamed for everything from the crash, the low values of 401-K's, to all the crooked scandals. We're denigrated, admonished, bashed, and set to be the fall guy for all the ills that have beset the country. The media and government seems to ignore the political social engineering decisions that started the downward spiral. Never mind the fact that many speculators have been hit hard by recent market action, the public sees us as parasites, contributing nothing to society while taking everything. Portraying speculators as looters is a brilliant method the genuine looters are using to camouflage their agenda of control. Whipping up public hatred of risk takers will enable the real looters to justify the nationalization of the economy and solidify their control over the means of production and our lives. It is already starting, and this crisis is playing right into the hands of those citizens who loathe and fear the productive. The public is ripe to willingly go along, being duped by a partisan government and complicit media, and being offered the empty promise of forty acres and a mule or whatever the modern equivalent is. Meanwhile, the speculators might have to lay low for awhile and let this whole mess play out. Whether business is nationalized, the country is socialized, or we end up in a series of five year plans, there will still be room for risk takers and individuals in the future. Ideally, it would be nice if we all were able to go on strike, but that won't happen. However, in my humble opinion, as long as there is a difference in the opinion of two or more people, there will be a market somewhere. And this fact, and this fact only, makes me cheerfully optimistic for the future. No matter how bad things might get in the USA, it will always be worse in Pakistan.

Jim Sogi writes:

J SogiThings were way worse in the 60s and 70s, then again in the 80s. Remember the stench of the bums lining Grand Central station, the bums everywhere on the streets, the crime, garbage in the streets, New York City under Lindsey almost bankrupt, riots, anti war demonstrations, race riots, lynchings. Remember the 50,000 dead in Viet Nam. Remember the savings and loan. Remember 24% interest rates? Remember the 50% drop in 74? The S&L thing was really bad. Real estate tanked for a decade after that. Remember the junk bond crisis? This "crisis" for all its blown up to be, is not as bad. Sure real estate is down 20%-30% , but it ran up 600% before. Sure there are some foreclosures, but in Hawaii there used to be 4 on every block. Mexico went down. Asia went down. Japan went down. Its not as bad now. Sure the market is down 38% or whatever, but wait a few years. All these people complaining at cocktail parties now will be daytrading again in the next decade at the new highs and bragging how they bought during the end of 08 during the crisis. But really, its time for some new blood. A new generation is coming up. The baby boomers are done. Bankers were always chumps no wonder they are going down the tubes. Those egomaniac overpaid CEO's deserve to go down. Let the fires clean out the filth and waste, finally. Remember, the public is usually wrong. Its a new dawn. I can almost smell it coming. Its been in cycles like this for all of history. An its happening again. Heck, the bottoms are only 50 or so points away, so what if there are new lows. Good, we got over it really fast and we should be happy about it for crying out loud. When it takes off, its going to make your head spin.

Nigel Davies comments:

The greatest irony of this situation is that it hasn't been the traders and speculators who are to blame, at least not those with this title who assume risk. It's the politicos who operate within the financial world, the guys who have looked for a risk free return from finance by manipulating the system. It's not hard to identify them, just look for signs like the creation of frankenstienian instruments, paying themselves huge amounts for having done and only ever risking the wealth of the shareholders who own the company they're leeching.

These same guys will perform this role in whichever system they find themselves in. As a case in point look at how the KGB 'elite' went from milking the socialist system to owning companies and getting elected as presidents etc. They never took a real trade in their lives.

I think this is what confuses the public, the villains change their costumes. And what better way to stay one step ahead than by yelling 'THEY'RE THE ONES', whilst pointing to those wearing the clothes that they had on last.


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