Thursday, April 03, 2014

My Wish for 2016: We Finally Get a President Who Doesn't Kiss Wall Street's Rear End

Is there any hope that we might actually elect a president with the mandate and courage to take down Wall Street instead of kissing its rear end in humiliating obeisance?

The 2016 presidential election may be far away to those obsessed with the news cycle, but it's not too early to express one single hope: that we finally elect a president who doesn't kiss Wall Street's rear end every single day for four/eight years running. It's not difficult, folks; it's either/or. Either the President is willing to take down Wall Street or he/she is kissing Wall Street's rear end. There is no middle ground.

Either the next president issues an executive order (or whatever it takes) to enact these four administrative rules, or he/she is kissing Wall Street's rear end every single day of his/her administration.

1. Every position in any tradable security or financial instrument must be held for a minimum of one minute.

2. A transaction fee payable to the U.S. Treasury will be levied on every order when placed, regardless of whether it executes or not or if it is cancelled, of all tradable securities and financial instruments, including those privately exchanged: $1 for every transaction of less than $100,000 in value, $10 for every trade over $100,000 but less than $1 million, $100 for every trade over $1 million but less than $10 million, and $1,000 for every trade over $10 million.

3. All tradable securities and financial instruments must be marked to market at the close of every trading day. This includes derivatives, credit default swaps, mortgage-backed securities, etc.

4. All transactions must be transacted on public exchanges with a transparent bid/ask.

Order the F.B.I., SEC and other law enforcement agencies of the Federal government to prioritize enforcement of all existing securities and banking regulations.

Just four easy-to-understand simple rules. Without these rules, Wall Street remains the Monster Id of American ambition, a vast legal looting machine parasitically sucking the U.S. economy dry and distorting not just financial markets but the political process and the incentives and values that motivate every participant.

Here's a brief history of the past two presidencies. The chickens finally came home to roost for Wall Street and the banks in 2008, and President Bush had a golden, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expose Wall Street and the banks to real capitalism, i.e. you're insolvent, you go bust, your assets are auctioned off.

Instead, he obediently bent down and kissed Wall Street's rear end, approving trillions of dollars of taxpayer-funded bailouts. Oh dearie-dear, the ATMs might not work? Really? Then why does the FDIC have the power to take over busted banks and keep them operating while their assets are liquidated in an orderly fashion?

It was never about debt-serfs not being able to get cash from ATMs. It was always about saving the gargantuan fortunes of financier skimmers, scammers, parasites and predators.

President Obama entered office with a mandate to take down Wall Street and the Too Big to Fail banks. He also refused to expose Wall Street and the banks to real capitalism. He too has bent down and kissed Wall Street's rear end every day of his presidency.

It's not complicated, people. Either enact these four simple rules or remain on your knees kissing Wall Street's rear end. Either the parasites and predators have a free hand, and the incentives for corruption and legal looting remain firmly in place, or Wall Street is taken down by enforcing four simple rules--rules that have no impact on legitimate, productive companies and investors in those companies. These four rules would only impact financier skimmers, scammers, parasites and predators.

Is there any hope that we might actually elect a president with the mandate and courage to take down Wall Street instead of kissing its rear end in humiliating obeisance? The only way such a miracle could occur is if the voters demand it. Sadly, most voters are as morally blind as the people they elect; either they're complicit in the rigged casino (i.e. they're hoping to share in the spoils via their pension, IRA, 401K, etc.) or the corruption and rot has seeped so deep that the nation's moral compass is spinning aimlessly. 

The Nearly Free University and The Emerging Economy:
The Revolution in Higher Education

Reconnecting higher education, livelihoods and the economyWith the soaring cost of higher education, has the value a college degree been turned upside down? College tuition and fees are up 1000% since 1980. Half of all recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed, revealing a deep disconnect between higher education and the job market.

It is no surprise everyone is asking: Where is the return on investment? Is the assumption that higher education returns greater prosperity no longer true? And if this is the case, how does this impact you, your children and grandchildren?

go to Kindle edition
We must thoroughly understand the twin revolutions now fundamentally changing our world: The true cost of higher education and an economy that seems to re-shape itself minute to minute.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy clearly describes the underlying dynamics at work - and, more importantly, lays out a new low-cost model for higher education: how digital technology is enabling a revolution in higher education that dramatically lowers costs while expanding the opportunities for students of all ages.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy provides clarity and optimism in a period of the greatest change our educational systems and society have seen, and offers everyone the tools needed to prosper in the Emerging Economy.
Read Chapter 1/Table of Contents

print ($20)       Kindle ($9.95) 

Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism
3. Diminishing returns
4. Centralization
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy

Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).

We are not powerless. Once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

Read the Introduction/Table of Contents
Kindle: $9.95       print: $24 

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