Sunday, June 10, 2012


Of course, this is a graph ending last July. I've not seen the update.  Money = jobs?  Would be nice to have more investment from the truly private sector.

This isn’t written so much direct to you, but you’ve gotten me thinking with your facebook correspondence, so I’m working this into my webpage.  Thanks for the thought-provoking dialogue, and let me know any further ideas on these money matters.
            Just getting back to you on the business-of-banking issues.  I’m glad you have Vanguard funds, and hope you’ll take the time to read the founder, John Bogle’s book, Enough.  The moral difference between longer term investment, and rapid trades focused solely on short term gains must be considered.  He emphasizes this.  It’s a short book but worth a look.

Your concern about the rapid traders moving off shore, if too regulated here, and taking their business with them doesn’t bother me so much.  The trades they do are non-productive, except for individual winners of wealth who rarely invest in real productive society-building enterprises, and they’ll not contribute much, except their astounding risk, in the off-our-shores markets to which they would flee.  Let them go.  The risk-takers who trade just to make money should be allowed their own spaces, but even Europe and China are fast hemming them in with new regulation.

major issue for me is that fast-trading “investment” banks {dealing in commodities, securities, derivatives, etc.} are leveraging and hedging their risky bets with the money of many people who have their life savings in mutual funds and commercial banks which now have been merged with these big wheeler-dealer investment banks.  For instance of course, J.P. Morgan—Chase.  Chase branches can be found throughout Port Huron and America.  Why should my money be connected to bets that lose $ 2 billion plus?  It may be that such bets sometimes improve JPM—Chase’s bottom line {overall balance sheets are not commonly available}, but my belief is that this gambling with money for money’s sake, and not putting it into productive industry, is damaging our society.  For a play by play of the 2008 debacle my daughter Maura recommended The Big Short.  {Her startup Bluhomes, a green factory built homes company, has a chunk of our savings, and is the opposite use money--a long term investment.}

So calling for a renewed Glass-Steagall law, “to prevent too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks from taking huge risks withpeople's life savings -- and then expecting taxpayer bailouts,”  makes sense to me.  It was enacted in the 30’s and helped keep us out of this trouble until the two big burst bubbles of 2001, and 2008.  It was revoked in 1999, just before these financial disasters.  Coincidence?  It had kept the two types of banks separate up till then.  Certainly even our most conservative investments, no matter where they're held, are brought down by huge irresponsible profiteer speculations.  Hard to design systems against this, but not impossible.

Money is not the real root of all evil, but how we engage it, day in and day out, does have a lot to do with the our real quality of life, especially the deeper spiritual aspects.  The scripture, “what does it profit a person if they gain the whole world but lose their own soul?” has a message for each and every one of us.
              Your friend, Sam’s dad,

Blue links to articles and pages of reference.

Also good on the issue--differing opinions,
For Catholic viewpoint--teachings on financials--

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

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