A Few Thoughts on Economic Greed

Wall Street is the place in which those with money to invest can seek out the best opportunities for a good return on their investments in the company of those who need new money to run their businesses and bring products to market. Like any wide open market place, it is also a place that attracts thieves, pickpockets and scam artists of every stripe. And, it is a place that is well honed in the practice of seducing both buyers and sellers by appealing to their greed. That’s pretty much been the way of the market place for tens of thousands of years. The problem, as I see it, is that on Wall Street today the stakes are very high and unbridled greed has become the driving force of the major players who are suppose to be the mediators and facilitators of fair and honest trade. The vicious Ponzi scheme, otherwise known as the subprime mortgage market, is a case in point. Unscrupulous persons were able to take multi-million dollar bonuses for themselves as they unloaded what they knew perfectly well to be an unsustainable investment scheme onto the books of greedy brokers and bankers who, themselves, were able to reap millions in personal bonuses before their companies and shareholders found themselves bankrupt. In the meantime, they all knew that hundreds of thousands of gullible homeowners would be fleeced of their dreams and assets, and they didn’t give a damn. As it is, many of the subprime brokers have gone out of business, the big banks have taken huge losses onto their books, and mortgage defaults are at an all time high. It has affected the economic health of the entire nation. But the perpetrators still walked away with their tens and hundreds of millions of dollars of personal bonuses, so what do they care? For that matter who cares at all? All of this is more important to the security of the American way of life than all the illegal aliens and gay marriages combined. But too many Americans who enjoy finding ways to be morally indignant seem more interested in straining at gnats than confronting anything of real importance. Maybe that’s the greatest sin of all.

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