Jim Letourneau's Blog

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The Other Guys on Wall Street

Critics of the "Occuply Wall Street" movement point out that the protesters can't articulate what they want. It was Rolling Stone's Matt Tiabi who first coined the term "Vampire Squid

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. 

I recall a former classmate who giddily would tell anyone who would listen that what he did was "neither investing or banking". It was better than either because hedges could be put in place to profit no matter what happened in the transaction. Too good to be true? Yes... eventually.

The ever increasing greed levels of Wall Street's financial wizards led to massively leveraged bets that impacted every man, woman and child on the planet. Nobody mourns when a hyperleveraged speculator blows up, but when the shrapnel hits their portfolio, house, job, or children's future they pay attention. 

While few of us know how to make a working bomb (or structure a credit default swap), we all know that it is not OK to blow things up and hurt other people in a just society. It doesn't take a CSI forensics expert to figure out who built the bomb.  

I'm a believer in free markets but the greed levels of the financial elite has led to massive collateral damage. The "heads I win, tails you lose" mentaility violates one of the fundamental rules of any transaction. 

Always leave something on the table for the other guy.

The other guys are now occupying Wall Street. 

Graphic from Demographic of One