Tag Archives: Occupy Wall Street

Ambitious Young People and Money

The first is the shifting relationship between ambitious young people and money. There’s a reason the Lower 99 currently lack leadership: Anyone with the ability to organize large numbers of unsuccessful people has been diverted into Wall Street jobs, mainly in the analyst programs at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Those jobs no longer exist, at least not in the quantities sufficient to distract an entire generation from examining the meaning of their lives.

Our Wall Street friends, wounded and weakened, can no longer pick up the tab for sucking the idealism out of America’s youth.

Bloomgberg: Michael Lewis: Advice From the 1%: Lever Up, Drop Out (Dec 4, 2011)

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Filed under Economics, Zeitgeist

Why Is A Raven Like A Writing Desk

Two recent Wall Street Journal articles point to similar problems in both the housing and stock markets: although prices are up relative to late 2008/2009, liquidity has suffered noticeable decreases.

It would seem that government policies aimed at propping up nominal prices in both markets have succeeded, in the short term. (Although not without consequence.)

Not coincidentally, IRS statistics on all top wealthholders show that 70% of the increases in wealth enjoyed by all top wealthholders between 1992 and 2004 (most recent data available, and prior to the market peaks) can be attributed to securities (55%) and real estate (15%). The data on real estate include all debts and mortgages (-5%), which partially masks the increase in nominal asset prices.

Consolidation of net wealth also occurred during this span, increasing from $1.34 billion to $3.74 billion per wealthholder. In other words, although the net worth increased 106%; this increase was shared by 26% fewer individuals.

Inflation and other policy-induced asset bubbles have clearly benefited the wealthy, and it should be clear to the layman that the Occupy Wall Street protests are misdirected. Instead they should be excoriating people like Paul Krugman, who continue to advocate for persistent inflation, eroding the value of their paychecks and savings.

WSJ: Traders Warn of Market Cracks (Oct 18, 2011)

Hedge-fund traders and mutual-fund managers say it has become increasingly tough to trade an individual stock without causing a big swing in its price. That’s led many large investors to step back from the market instead of risking being stung by the trading difficulties.

The problem is a lack of liquidity—a term that refers to the ease of getting a trade done at an acceptable price.

Markets depend on there being many offers to buy and sell a particular stock, across a range of prices. But as investors have gotten nervous, many of those offers have dried up.

WSJ: Slim Pickings Are Latest Headache for Home Sales (Oct 17, 2011)

The housing market, which has struggled with an oversupply of homes for years, is facing a new problem: a lack of attractive inventory…

The report is the latest sign of how the U.S. housing market can’t seem to catch a break. While falling inventories are typically a sign of health, because reduced competition can boost prices, that isn’t the case right now.

Instead, real-estate agents say, people are pulling their homes off the market rather than try to sell them at today’s discounted prices.

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Filed under Consumer, Economics, Politics, Zeitgeist

CNN: Occupy Wall Street v. Tea Party Movements

Compare CNN’s coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement with coverage of the Tea Party movement around 2009. Both are undeniably populist; and in the first article linked below, the author even calls the OWS movement “unwieldy, paradoxical, and inconsistent”. But because the Tea Party movement is predominantly anti-government and the OWS movement is anti-business, the former was demonized and the latter is being championed as “America’s first true Internet-era movement”. Sickening.

To make matters worse, Jon Stewart’s out there facetiously asserting that the groups are similar. While it may be true that both have drawn on populist sentiments, the objects at which these are directed (and their specific goals, or lack thereof) differ wildly. OWS isn’t just anti-bailouts, it’s anti-corporations and anti-profit — but without the good sense to understand that the corporation is just a government-defined, legal fiction bestowing person-hood and not a given business entity.

Links

CNN: Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase? You don’t get it (October 5, 2011)
CNN: Tea party movement has anger, no dominant leaders (September 12, 2009)
CNN: Nationwide ‘tea party’ protests blast spending (April 15, 2009)
Gawker: Jon Stewart on the Wall Street Protesters: ‘How Are They Not Like the Tea Party?’ (October 6, 2011)

RIP Steve Jobs

http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/
LA Times: Reactions to Steve Jobs’ death (October 6, 2011)
WSJ: Mossberg: The Steve Jobs I Knew (October 6, 2011)
Boing Boing: Steve Jobs has died. (October 5, 2011)
YouTube: Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (2005)
iTunes: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at D5 Conference (2007)

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Filed under Consumer, Economics, Politics, Rant, Zeitgeist