October 19, 2004
Just when we thought we might slog through a second October in a row without a major calamity, Eliot Spitzer, the mad-dawg Attorney General of NY, has seen fit to do his best to lay waste to the financial markets. With guns ablazing, Eliot has fired upon what must be the last remaining miscreants loitering around in the U.S financial markets. It seems that even the insurance industry, and all forms of it, have been practicing all sorts of ill-will toward their trusting clients. I am sure you can find and read hundred of articles on the details, so I will not bore you further here. But you would think that after all the mucho-mucho scandals we have endured for the past four to five years, our fearless corporate leaders would finally tread softly with the fear of God by their sides. Nope. Not at all. When it comes to money, greed truly knows no end.
While Mr. Spitzer is sure to propel himself into a glorious political career defending the fiduciary interests of the common American, one must wonder what fate awaits these financial markets. These latest dirty revelations are sure to demonstrate even further that our financial system is not to be trusted with the common dollar. Could we even get enough withdrawals to trigger a minor "crash" before the election? Pure speculation on my part, but it is something to think about. Ordinary folks are sure to be even more deeply convinced that their home is just about the only asset upon which they can rely. Retail interest in the stock market is already weak…Spitzer is making sure to take out what pegs remain standing.
One must ultimately wonder whether folks will connect these latest scandals to the coming elections. As far as I know, Kerry and Edwards have not directly attributed Wall St.'s misbehavior to a culture of non-accountability in the White House. They have made incessant references to Enron, but they have never laid out a clear and convincing case linking the Bushie's to their misbehaving corporate sponsors. I suppose since Wall St. is always carrying out some form of misbehaving, the Democrats would have a tough sell trying to peg the latest administration with the blame. But both Kerry and Edwards are lawyers so perhaps they can yet figure out a way. Regardless, the flagging fortunes and waning prestige of our markets do nothing to help grand proposals to put all our faith and savings in these same markets. We may not be happy with government's management of Social Security and the like, but the private sector appears even worse in all the wrong places. A cynic might even say it is a matter of choosing between the legalized financial engineering and sanctioned indebtedness of the public sector versus the outright skimming and thievery of the private markets. Since I am just sarcastic and not quite a cynic (=smiles=), I will just remind my fellow citizens to take pride that at least America knows how to run free and fair elections.
Be careful out there!