20 April 2015

Analyzing Wall Street, Banks, and Big Money: A Checklist and an Example

"Journalism is one of the devices whereby industrial autocracy keeps its control over political democracy; it is the day-by-day, between-elections propaganda, whereby the minds of the people are kept in a state of acquiescence, so that when the crisis of an election comes, they go to the polls and cast their ballots for either one of the two candidates of their exploiters."

Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

Rather than present someone else's analysis, here is a simple checklist for you to consider, and a few simple questions.
Run down the performance over the last ten years or so of the Too Big To Fail Banks and assess them for yourself.
Is further deregulation the answer?   Should we place even more power in the hands of the Banks themselves and then trust them to be good, or give that power to their own industry associations and instruments, including those attached to the revolving door? 
Is the Federal Reserve an unbiased and objective regulator fully transparent and answerable to the people before all others?
Does the libertarian idealism of assuming that people are all naturally good and rational, weighing long term benefits for all against personal short term gains, serve the public interest?  Is it realistic?   Is it always even real?

What results do we see from the last twenty years of overturning regulations that had stood in place since 1933?  

What sort of people do we elect?   What types of organizations are acquiring much more power, sometimes even tremendous control over healthcare, food, and the military, and with it the power of life and death?

The twenty traits assessed by the PCL-R score are:
• glib and superficial charm
• grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
• need for constant stimulation
• pathological lying
• cunning and manipulativeness
• lack of remorse or guilt
• superficial emotional responsiveness
• callousness and lack of empathy
• parasitic lifestyle
• poor behavioral controls
• sexual promiscuity
• early behavior problems
• lack of realistic long-term goals
• impulsivity
• irresponsibility
• failure to accept responsibility for own actions
• many short-term marital relationships
• juvenile delinquency
• revocation of conditional release
• criminal versatility
Robert Hare: Psychopathy Checklist
Sovereignty?   Sovereignty is bad for business.  And so are democracy, local standards, and home rule.
"The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole."

Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope