“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”
-Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything.
Seems like some people have an uncanny knack for moving stuff around on paper and making a killing at it. I’m all for that. Trouble is, lately it’s at the expense of the rest of us and that model of doing things is about as sustainable as investing in Beanie Babies was.
According to my capitalist bent, when the tide rises, all boats are supposed to be lifted. That’s part of the cornerstone of the mythos of America. Recent reforms to banking from Washington were supposed to ensure that mythos endures. I’m not entirely sure that this is the case.
All I can do is guess that the recent banking reforms, are, in fact, pretty toothless. I don’t have the gumption to sift through a 2,000-page document, thanks. So, I’ll go by what I’m hearing in the media. Always a good idea, right?
So, what I’m hearing is that the reforms got knocked down to the current state that supposedly allows the government to step in and mess with the banks if they get into trouble again. But, isn’t that what we already have? Didn’t we just do that? The rationale was that if we put in too much regulation, the unfettered trading would just head overseas.
We’ve been down this path before with the savings and loan crisis and subsequent regulations. I’m not sure even if there were teeth in the most recent legislation if it would even matter. There’s always a new and complicated way to make money on paper.
After reading The Big Short , my veeeery brief and over-simplified explanation of the most recent crisis is this: the game is rigged against everyone except the Wall Street guys.
The WSGs, as I call them, were able to take money that the average person invested through a variety of means including retirement funds and mutual funds and straight-up gamble it. The bulk of them didn’t even know quite what they were gambling on. When they lost the money, the general public had to come to the rescue and bail the WSGs out.
“If we win, it’s capitalism. If we lose, we’re all for public support,” they seemed to say.
So, what’s the average person to do to invest? I wish I had an answer. If you look to the more conservative opinions, inflation is headed our direction. A little left-leaning and you start getting theories of deflation.
And, just the other day, I read an article posted by a friend about how venture capital investments don’t really pay off.
I know I’m confused. I can’t be the only one out there paying attention and wondering what’s next.