The gamblers

Awhile back someone on this blog put me on to the Council on Foreign Relations podcasts – and I have been listening to 4-5 of these every week since. If you want to talk about Ukraine and NATO or microfinance or currency stability in Argentina, giddy up!

Last night I listened to an interesting session with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner the president of Argentina (think of her as a kind of Hillary Clinton as her husband was previously the president).

She gave a good speech but her most salient points were around the culture of gambling and risk that has pervaded the U.S. economy – particularly Wall Street. She said the U.S. must get back to what made it great – the creation of value through goods, services and knowledge – and not just gambling on the market.

I think we have got to find a way to limit gambling on stocks. I know that old Greenspan believes that ‘liquidity’ is the ultimate goal and the short selling of stocks and the other fast flipping of stocks to make quick profits is good for the market but I am increasingly coming into disagreement with the old coot.

It seems to me that we need to find a way to breed out the gambling and revert to stock price setting based on real underlying value.

But I’m not a expert on this stuff. Just a guy whose already small retirement savings has shrunk further in the past little while.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to The gamblers

  1. Rob says:

    Try UChannel on iTunes. I devour the London School of Economics podcasts. Nothing like mowing the lawn while listening to a panel discuss the future of multi-party politics in Georgia.

  2. mikel says:

    First, the basics, an Argentinian President is about the LAST person that should be pointing fingers. Argentina’s currency-then economy, was capsized by currency speculators-virtually every south or latin american country has been, which is why in those countries even the lowest worker is an expert in these things.

    This is certainly not just an american problem, currency speculation accounts for 80% of global ‘trade’, actual goods and services are a TINY minority.

    It’s an american problem now, and to REALLY get to the meat of it, check out Democracy Now’s podcast, I think it was last week. Go through them, it has an interview with Independant Senator Bernie Sanders. If you watch mainstream media then not only will not become expert, you won’t even know what is going on.

    In 1999 in Brazil, the country spent 40 billion defending its currency and lost, estimates claims that up to 10 million a year lose their jobs thanks to currency speculation. In thailand child prostitution rose 20% when their currency collapsed.

    There are two things people have to remember about this ‘fiasco’ that isn’t often in the media-first,it was predictable-there WERE people predicting it yet were ignored. A year about when one of britains largest banks went under even those involved said worse was coming if regulation wasn’t brought in.

    However, the lessons for tiny New Brunswick are a little different. First, it should of course make NBT’s ravings about the market seem like absolute lunacy, except for the parts about corporate welfare.

    Second, it shows that unlike the ‘tough love’ people, the majority of the population who have long held that government is far better able to ‘deliver the goods’ are the ones who are correct, not those talking about ‘new policies’.

    That has a bearing on three sectors on NB life-it SHOULD make people jump up and take notice of NBPower. Legislation was brought in to move towards privatization, that was changed, partly because of the debt, so it seems the NEW idea is even better, keep New Brunswickers paying the debt while privatizing energy GENERATION. Note the liberals have been touting Lepreau 2 as a PRIVATE ownership model.

    Some people may try to make the argument that ‘privatizing’ some aspects of social services isn’t exactly ‘speculating’, which isn’t close to being true. The same forces acting on these companies act on smaller companies-namely, maximizing profit, moreover, INCREASINGLY maximizing profit. It’s not enough to make money, you have to keep upping the ante, so just ask how to do that in, say, ambulatory services, or in ownership of hospital infrastructure (its no coincidence that public-private contracts are closed to outside scrutiny).

    In the states this is a bailout plain and simple, New Brunswickers are very familiar with that. But people should realize there are LOTS of ways to ‘bailout’ a corporation, from wiping out corporate income tax, to specific tax breaks on capital investment, to, well, the VERY blatant property tax deals and low interest loans.

    Don’t mean to sound like Dan here, but this is pretty much third world economics 101.

  3. Dan F says:


    Replace ‘gambler’ with ‘thief’ and we can talk.

    Unless you plan on blaming this all on the small minority of mortgagees and refinancers who went for the ‘free-money’ ponzi scheme.

    Clearly this was an engineered debt bubble which they intend to follow up with a lock-down police state.

    So, everyone get ready to stand in line for our government gruel – the knives are being sharpened and the pig is on its last turn on the spit.