Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On occupying Wall Street

I don't know if this is the best approach.  We have to think out very carefully what it is we want changed in our financial institutions and propose an alternative structure.  Just protesting does not give an alternative.  Just overthrowing a structure and leaving nothing in its place leaves chaos

There are several points that I think are important.

1. Computerized trading that makes automatic trades based on mathematical trends in the market should be illegal.
2. There should be no hedge funds that are not subject to governmental oversight and hedge fund managers should not be able to take investor funds without the same controls that are in place at brokerage firms like Merrill Lynch
3. There need to be stricter regulations on the trading of various instruments, especially petroleum futures and derivatives based on real estate mortgages
4. no one should be able to borrow money, buy up the public stock of a profitable company, and the loot the company to pay off the loan (thereby destroying lots of jobs)
5. imports of goods and services should be regulated more to make sure that the imported goods and services are not artificially low in price due to: unfair or unsafe working conditions *or* currency exchange rates that do not reflect the real values of currencies.  (which can be checked by the price of a Big Mac, for instance, in the various countries)
6. Executive pay at corporations needs to be regulated so that executives do not abuse their positions of power to loot company assets and stockholder initiatives need to be binding rather than advisory on the board of directors

This is going to require some thought and careful drafting of legislation.  Just protesting is going to accomplish nothing or worse than nothing.  If there is a reasonable alternative, we might have a chance of doing something constructive.

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