ABOUT “The Warzone”
Our Mission … Experience … Trackrecord … The Warzoners Network
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” Gandhi
— The Mission. USMC 4 years, Morgan Stanley 5 years, financial journalist 16 years: Now in the warzone, the “Wall Street Warzone,” reporting on the “secret war to control America’s mind, your money and global markets.” You’re inside the “Warzone” with me … and you are “their” target. The Wall Street Warzone goes beyond breaking news into a psychological no-man’s land, challenging the status quo and the conventional wisdom, searching for commentaries, analyses, trends and forecasts about Wall Street’s war, through the lens of the behavioral sciences. The Wall Street Warzone is also a network of informed investors, taxpayers and American citizens concerned about the accelerating power of Wall Street, the “Happy Conspiracy” and their war against Main Street, a war that is destroying American democracy and capitalism. All this is based on facts not some wild conspiracy theory: The term “Happy Conspiracy” was often used by Vanguard’s founder Jack Bogle, most notably in his 2005 best-seller The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism. Today we use it to describe a broader, systemic “cultural conspiracy” running America.
— Background Experience. Earlier I was on Wall Street in investment banking with Morgan Stanley where I first saw the power of Wall Street and the “Happy Conspiracy” in action. Over the years I’ve written about it in many of my 1,500 columns for DowJones MarketWatch.com, The Wall Street Journal and earlier, the CBS/Financial Times MarketWatch.com joint venture. Before that I was Exec VP and COO of the Financial News Network and Exec VP of Mercury Entertainment Corp. In the nineties I edited the FNX-Future News Index, a financial/economic forecasting newsletter tracking technical analysts and cycles researchers. I’ve published nine books, including The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing; Mutual Funds on the Net; Expert Investing on the Net; The Investors Guide to the Net, The New Meditation; and The Millionaire Code, a survey of Jung’s psychological profiling system for entrepreneurs, investors and business men and women. I have four degrees including a Juris Doctor and PhD in Psychology. Before all this I served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Staff Sgt and radar/computer technician.
— Forecasting 2000-07. Why launch the “Wall Street Warzone” now? The idea originated with my March 20, 2000 MarketWatch column: “Next Crash? Sorry, You’ll Never Hear It Coming.” We were on target. Few listened. A 30-month bear/recession followed. Investors lost $8 trillion market cap. Then, from 2002 to 2007 we reported on more than two dozen new predictions of a coming meltdown, warnings from Buffett, Grantham, Gross, Faber, Shilling, Roubini, etc. Again, few listened. Greenspan, Paulson, Bernanke were in denial, trapped by their myopic ideology. Result? Bailout debt of $23.7 trillion piled on future taxpayers by Wall Street.
— Next Meltdown, 2012? Bogle called our 2007 predictions of the coming meltdown “prescient.” We see another coming. Cycles have a bad habit of repeating. Red flags have been waving frantically since the 2007-08 meltdown, the mega-bailouts, the all-too-rapid “recovery” of our “too-greedy-to-fail” fat-cat bankers secretly dumping massive losses, toxic debts and future risks on an already heavily burdened American taxpayer, thanks to their control of The Fed, both political parties, Congress and the White House. By late 2008 we began warning that Wall Street and “The Happy Conspiracy” were again setting America up for another, bigger market crash, one likely to trigger the “Second Great Depression” that we narrowly missed the following year. Is anyone listening?
— Inside the Warzone. When the “WallStreetWarzone.com” was launched, we began with roughly a hundred articles, about half of which were edited and updated from the original Happy Conspiracy manuscript written in the years leading up to the subprime-credit meltdown. When the publishing industry tanked along with the rest of the economy and markets in the fall of 2007, we made a decision, shifted gears. We already had nine books published. Setting aside the idea of another print book was an easy decision. Especially after twelve years working in the “new media,” watching the rapid growth of the blogosphere. “Publishing” a new web/blog based on the ideas, principles, structure of the original Happy Conspiracy manuscript suddenly made a lot of sense. You’re looking at the result, the new Wall Street WarZone web/blog, a dynamic “book” updated regularly. You are part of it, your comments, your ideas, decisions, actions are the key to success. Pass the word on.
— Warzoners Network. Our future articles will focus on how Wall Street and “The Happy Conspiracy” are manipulating market, economic, political and cultural issues using all the new (and “old”) mind-altering neuroscience weapons in their arsenal: Behavioral economics, investment psychology, neuro-marketing, behavioral finance, quant mathematics, and the new “science of irrationality.” WallStreetWarzone.com will also serve as a base of operations for the “Warzoners Network,” a communication center for investors, taxpayers and American citizens who share common concerns, want real change, believe that together we can and must make the impossible real, and we are ready to do something about it in a network that’s more than mad-as-hell reactionaries, more as thoughtful Americans, revolutionaries in the tradition of our forefathers, searching for positive stategies, meaningful actions and hard results in a drive to achieve the “Warzoners” mission and take back the soul of American capitalism and most of all our democracy.
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Background: Here’s an edited version of our original 2007 summary for
“The Happy Conspiracy” book and the “WallStreetWarzone.com” web/blog
Robert Shiller wrote his landmark Irrational Exuberance based on a remark by Alan Greenspan. Similarly, Jack Bogle’s reference to the “Happy Conspiracy” in his 2005 bestseller, The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism, captures the broader message, themes and spirit of our web-blog. Bogle saw our proposal in mid-2007 and called it “timely and relevant … prescient” in light of the collapsing economy and credit meltdown. At the same time, Secretary Paulson, Fed Chair Bernanke and former Chair Greenspan were dismissing the credit meltdown as “contained.” Then suddenly it turned into a “contagion” rippling through national and global banking, mortgage-backed securities, credit rating agencies, hedge funds, private equity, hedge funds, bankruptcies, derivatives, government, triggering a bear-recession—everything I had been warning about for years. Other industry leaders also offered early praise:
”Controversial, fascinating, your timing is perfect.” Ted Aronson, Institutional Fund Manager
“No one else has yet taken the position you’re taking.” Ric Edelman, The New Rules About Money
“You have a winner.” William Bernstein, The Intelligent Asset Allocator
“The market is ripe for another Irrational Exuberance.” John Nofsinger, Behavioral Economist
“Timely & relevant … prescient.” Jack Bogle, founder, Vanguard Mutual Funds
“Right on! Your take is unique.” Scott Burns, Dallas Morning News
“A book like this needs to be published.” John Wasik, Bloomberg News
“Fearless in exposing conflicts and corruption.” John Freeman, former SEC Attorney
“Certain to have a profound impact.” Bill Schultheis, Financial Adviser
While the financial and publishing markets were crashing, the blogosphere was expanding. The Happy Conspiracy suddenly made more sense as a dynamic web/blog than a printed book, with daily updates helping readers see behavioral economics, behavioral finance, investment psychology, quant mathematics, neuroeconomics and the new “science of irrationality” in a new and unique light, much as Nudge, Predictably Irrational, Freakonomics, Blink, The Tipping Point, Animal Spirits and Irrational Exuberance are giving us a whole new look inside the American mind.
The Wall Street Warzone blogs and The Happy Conspiracy identify and expose a dangerous paradigm shift: A shift away from using the new neurosciences to help Main Street investors better understand their irrational behavior and improve themselves as investors, consumers and citizens and toward exposing a dark secret “conspiracy” that’s turning the new behavioral sciences upside-down. When Princeton Psychologist Daniel Kahneman was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences many saw this as the goal of the new neurosciences — help mainstream Americans.
But today, instead of helping average Americans, Wall Street and “The Happy Conspiracy” are using these new neuro-sciences, their technologies and sophisticated tools to dominate, manipulate and control the minds of America’s investors, consumers, citizens and taxpayers. Their goal: Control the American mind and markets in order to siphon off billions from our savings, bank accounts, investments and retirement portfolios. Our goal: Stop them, come from a position of strength, take back our power with a revolutionary mindset and radical new strategies to take charge of our own future.