By Wayne Jett
© May 21, 2009
“capitalism” and most minds connect “New York” or “Wall Street.” Much
commerce centers in New York and on Wall Street, but not all that
occurs on Wall Street is capitalism. In fact, mercantilists of the U.
S. financial sector inject poison into the capitalist system daily.
This will confuse casual economic observers who mistakenly equate
financial mercantilism – leveraging massive private capital with
influence over government policy to produce illicit gains – with true
capitalism. Mercantilism, creator and author of the Dark Ages and the
Great Depression, is the evil cabal which inspires hate of
“imperialism” globally because its members do, indeed, prey upon the
Middle Class and the poor.
Capitalism, by contrast, is the system by which individuals convert
their talents and labors into capital and deploy it. This is entirely
just and, in essence, socially beneficial exercise of personal liberty.
Capitalists seek only a limited role from government: enforce law to
prevent fraud and force in commercial relations. The nuts and bolts of
capitalism are what most people think of as Main Street.
Upon this humble platform – liberty and justice – capitalism built
history’s most accomplished civilization and largest Middle Class. Do
not mistake Middle Class with moderate income. Middle Class includes
all within the great “third class” which grew through capitalism
between the ruling elite mercantilist class and the “second class” of
serfs and peasants. The Middle Class certainly includes every
successful capitalist whose creed acknowledges justice in fair reward
for production and performance.
Mercantilist Exploitation 2000-2002
Since 1999, merely the past
decade, U. S. mercantilists financially raped and pillaged the Middle
Class – twice – in proportions matched only during the Great
Depression. During 2000-2002, U. S. financial markets crashed. The
S&P500 dropped 45% from about 1470 in October, 1999, to 815 in
July, 2002. The volatile collapse was triggered by the Federal
Reserve’s secretly deliberate deflation of dollar value from gold above
$400/oz in 1996 to $252/oz in 1999. Higher dollar value mandated lower
prices for products, which destroyed profits.
Financial mercantilists, Fed insiders by definition, exploited the
currency manipulation by selling short and selling naked short in
voluminous avalanches. Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, added
panic and further enabled financial predators. Still the Fed did not
return the dollar’s value to equilibrium until 2003. With fairly valued
currency and cuts in income tax marginal rates, economic growth
Mercantilist Exploitation 2007-?
But by then, Wall Street’s
mercantilists already had designs for their next assault on Middle
Class capital. In 2000, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley gained new
federal law permitting crude oil futures trading in “dark markets”
hidden from federal regulators, and promptly formed Intercontinental
Exchange (ICE) to exploit it. Trebled prices for crude oil in 2006-2008
despite high and rising inventories produced global economic collapse
in mid-2008. This provided a comprehensive cover story for fraudulent
manipulation of stock share prices in financial markets begun in 2007.
In March, 2007, the ABX index of sub-prime
mortgage-backed-securities appeared with a transparent design easily
manipulated into sharp decline. In November, 2007, the Financial
Accounting Standards Board based in Connecticut (also home of
short-selling hedge funds) made its Rule 157 effective. Rule 157
required financial institutions to change the value of financial assets
(including MBS) on their books to current “market” value, and to run
reductions through the income statement as operating loss.
Sarbanes-Oxley threatened auditors and corporate executives with
criminal penalties for accounting error, so auditors used ABX as
grounds for marking down values far below cash flow analysis as MBS
Gigantic paper losses in quarterly reports of financial firms –
first mortgage companies and then banks – provided media cover for
torrential naked short selling of financial shares. Countrywide and
nearly every smaller mortgage company were destroyed almost overnight,
as naked short sales flooded markets with dilutive sales of
non-existent shares. In mid-March, 2008, the fifth largest U. S.
investment bank Bear Stearns, itself reputed to be a major naked short
seller, was destroyed within a week by the practice, executed primarily
through market makers in options and credit default swaps.
What do options and CDS have to do with naked short selling? In
2004, the SEC wrote into its Regulation SHO an explicit provision
(called the “Madoff exemption”) allowing market makers in options and
derivatives to hedge their positions by selling short without
delivering shares within a stated time limit. Buying a “put” option or
CDS became the cheapest means of assuming a short position in any
company, and doing so meant the seller would naked short sell shares
“hedging” its exposure on the put or CDS. These manipulative trading
practices permitted by the SEC guaranteed two things: collapse of the
target company’s share price and ill-gotten gains for the short
Middle Class Under Assault
Taken into trust by American business as the avenue to working
capital, Wall Street financiers morphed into vipers at the breast of
capitalism. In 21st Century America, seasoned corporate executives
remain ignorant that registering their shares for public trading
enables brokers, hedge funds and other institutions to sell imitations
of those shares and to take the buyers’ money as their own. The SEC and
Congress permit this because their functionaries hope to do the same
fraudulent manipulations when their opportunities arrive.
Nothing is as destructive to the success and survival of capitalism
as financial mercantilism. Mercantilism masquerades as capitalism
itself, even calling itself “laissez-faire free market capitalism” to
justify government forbearance of rampant fraud. Such fakery is aided
by so many who befriend the ultra-rich and powerful. Much of the world
is convinced capitalism, not mercantilism, is the culprit of
Mercantilists thrive under socialism, fascism, communism and every
other political ideology in addition to capitalism. In each political
system, a government power center exists which bargains with and is
swayed by mercantilist appeals. Mercantilism – not socialism, fascism
or communism – is the anti-capitalist, and the Middle Class is its
natural enemy. ~