The saddest part of watching the “occupy Wall Street” protests is not that they are happening but rather that the protesters are right. The orgy of greed and fraud we have witnessed, in the last decade, from the speculators and “banksters” has not only been immoral but in so many cases it has been criminal too. The protesters have fully understood that the free market system we have believed in is badly broken and dire need of repair. The time has come to have a serious look at the nature of our free markets and the kinds characters that are the leaders of our economy.
The array of con artists that have risen to senior levels of management in major banking institutions is a stunning reflection of the reality that capitalism has mutated to the point where it is unrecognizable from original idea of free open markets will work because the markets are always right. The truth is that the markets can be fudged and corrupted. The idea that free and open markets will add value to mankind is now unfortunately dead and in need of a massive overhaul and rethink before the greed, fraud and corruption end our way of life forever.
These are VERY strong words but we have seen much evidence to support that premise. From the High Tech boom and bust to the mortgage fiasco that has already escalated food and commodity prices all over the world as a result of the need to print trillions of dollars of new currency to prevent a melt down of our banking system, we have seen much proof that the greed of global speculators and bankers has threatened the very existence of capitalism. The root of all of these problems has been human greed and lack of social responsibility. They will even admit that there job is to generate profits for there institutions and ultimately bonuses for themselves.
Now this is not about simple merchants and business operators who add value and provide you with the services and products we need on a daily basis. Nor is it about the bankers who provide you with car loans and mortgages but rather it about the kinds of bankers that created the mortgage backed securities that were sold around the world with no thought to the ultimate ramifications we face today in Europe and America. The biblical values of honesty, long term thinking, adding value and being prudent are still the drivers of modern businesses that provide good and services. It is the nature of speculators and mutant bankers that need to be regulated and managed in a more socially responsible manner. This will not be an simple debate because it will focus on morals and the ability of man to freely rule man.
The protesters occupying Wall Street are right: the economic system called Capitalism is broken and needs need to be overhauled and rethought. There will be no simple answers to these problems but, I for one am happy that the protesters are making this fuss and I hope we listen very carefully to the issues they raise. Capitalism is an economic system based on democracy and if freedom is important to us it is critical that we get capitalism right.
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