Wall Street WARZONE
Wall Street’s #1 Investment: 100 Senators, 435 Congressmen & 261,000 Lobbyists (CEOs Get Huge 100:1 Payoffs, Taxpayers Stuck With The Tab)
by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | | 3/25/2010

In addition to openly slanting the facts (ads, talking heads, performance data) the best way Wall Street and its allies in the “Happy Conspiracy” can manipulate and control Main Street investors is by maintaining maximum secrecy and hiding as much as possible of the facts about their business operations from their investors and the public: Fight all reform bills by investing in lobbyists, make generous campaign contributions to strategically-placed members of Congress and other politicians at state and local levels, so you can get favorable treatment in all new legislation and regulations, and kill any reform movements in the bud. Thanks to “investments” in these “friends in high places,” the payoff is often 100:1, one hundred times your “investment.”

Months before it happened we warned investors that the private equity bubble was peaking. After a mini-crash in Shanghai, the risks continued increasing. As David Dreman said in his latest Forbes column, “The Risk Problem … There are pockets of risk you should definitely avoid. Two of the most dangerous are private equity and hedge funds,” the ultra-secretive twins favored by the smart money crowd. Dreman’s warning was very specific: “Even the better-known funds like Blackstone Group are taking on immense new risk. When Blackstone purchased Samuel Zell’s Equity Office Properties Trust for $39 billion (including debt). Zell is regarded as one of the shrewdest operators in the real estate world. When Zell sells, it’s like a bell tolling for private equity’s peak. Good luck to Blackstone investors.” (More)

Vanguard’s Jack Bogle Tells Investors How To Undermine the Supreme Court’s “Unwise Decision” Allowing Unrestricted Money Donations to Politicians
by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | | 3/20/2010

David versus Goliath, you vs Corporate America, with “them” spending billions to control “us” voters, consumers and investors, thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent decision. Now, Jack Bogle gives us a way to stand up to corporate goliaths. Writing in Bloomberg/BusinessWeek the  founder of Vanguard Funds says “It’s Time to Stand Up to the Supreme Court:

The court’s decision to let public companies spend freely on elections simply isn’t fair to shareholders. But there’s a way to push back. …”The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves,” wrote Justice Anthony M. Kennedy … But public companies aren’t people. As Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the minority, observed, the court committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings. The notion that the same freedoms should apply when a public company, often with tens of thousands of owners, speaks in matters beyond the scope of its business affairs offends common sense. (More)