Saturday, April 11, 2009

From Prada to Nada: Wall Street Needs A Makeover

The war between Main Street vs. Wall Street has truly gotten out of hand. In addition to the persistent and disruptive protests on Wall Street, there have also been tours of the private homes of AIG executives (tour buses included). This is not only insane, but barbaric.

This is something that should only happen in a socialist society, not in a country synonymous with capitalism.

How outdated are the philosophies driving these idiotic actions? The closest parallel I can think of is the French Revolution. Richard Fuld is as hated today as Marie Antoinette ever was. And yet, if we look beneath the surface, we'll see that there are other sides to the story. Was Marie Antoinette really to blame or was she just a very convenient political scapegoat?

Capitalism has not failed; risk management has. We, as a society, failed to account for risks. If anything, we were too optimistic - not too greedy. Greed is as much a part of human nature as money drives Wall Street. Without greed, we would all just be living on subsistence farming.

I'm seriously ticked off that the guys on Wall Street are so blase about the fact that basically the whole world hates them. It's not fair to them, so why don't they just do something about it?

Let's rewind our memories back to before the crisis. Everyone basically worshipped Wall Street back then. So what has changed fundamentally between the period preceding the crisis and now? Essentially nothing but a precipitous shift in the value of our 401Ks, IRAs, property, and whatnot.

The people who have lost their homes to foreclosure were just as greedy as the Wall Street bankers. Both are to blame and it's about time those people owned up to their role rather than playing the victim.

They absolutely have no right to try to ruin other people's lives.

I have for some time started to fear that one day, things will get so out of hand that we will all have to hide our 'wealth' - let alone our Hermes scarves.

For now, I recommend tooting your own horn once in a while, Wall Street. Publicize the good that you do for the world. And if there's nothing to write home about, then start doing some good. We all know you're not inherently evil.


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