Dear reader, it will not be necessary for Wall Street and Main Street, or the European Union to be concerned with budget deficits, world peace and the debt crisis any longer. While in New York recently I had an extraordinary revelation on these issues that I will share with you. My revelation will shock and awe your senses. It will solve all of the world's economic problems. It will signal the arrival of peace in our time.
Next stop, the UN General Assembly
Normally this type of information would be delivered to a General Assembly of the United Nations; however I choose to share it with you directly. Dear reader before I share my revelation and the path to global economic harmony let me first relate the incident that triggered my revelation.
The City that never sleeps
I was in New York recently to spend some time worrying about the global economy and to enjoy the 'City That Never Sleeps'. Sure enough, New York's sobriquet proved accurate. It was 3 a.m. and I could not sleep. I did what any visitor to New York would do in this situation. I called the concierge and asked if he knew where I could find an all night poker game. [Truthfully as I was paying $40 a night for my room the concierge was really a security guard/janitor.] He was no help. I then reached out to my former bookie, Gustavo Laframboise-Pierre, who currently works for the European Central Bank. I was relieved when he texted me back immediately with an address and a password for a 7/24 poker game. Before you could say 'New York Minute' a cab delivered me to the sub-basement of a parking garage in a rather sketchy part of town.
His name was Basil
I found myself seated at a table in the corner with four of the most, how shall I say it, unique individuals I had ever met. The chap beside me was the biggest, ugliest smelliest, meanest, looking person I had ever had the pleasure to throw down the cards with. His name was Basil.
In any event my desire to play poker overcame my fear and it was 'game on'. [You have probably deduced by now that I have a gambling problem, let us discuss that another day]. As the game progressed it was apparent that Basil was to put it kindly, an unabashed cheater. At first his cheating was subtle, sneaking a peek at my cards. As he consumed more of my 'Texas Mickey' of Jack Daniels he lost his subtlety and would take my cards out of my hands and play my hand for me.
J'accuse, you cheater
Since his tattoos looked as though had been inked with a machete rather than a needle I was not about to stand up and say "J'accuse, you are a cheater, you dog." Patience dear reader we are moments away from the revelation and world peace. Finally Basil grew bored, tired and drunk. He stood up and simply took everyone's money from the table, from their wallets and from their shoes, smiled and began to walk out the door. We stared at the erstwhile 'Floor Boss'/Bouncer/ Bartender expecting him to stop Basil. However when the Floor Boss saw the anger and danger in Basil's eyes he curled into a fetal position on the floor and called for his Mommy. I felt used, ashamed embarrassed, broke, humiliated, disappointed and generally as Jed Clampett would say, 'Lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut'.
Wall Street is just like Basil
Dear reader your patience will now be rewarded. I realized that I had felt this way before. This was the same way I felt after any dealings I have ever had with Wall Street or the ECB. Wall Street starts by subtly taking your money, but as they grow more familiar and more impatient with you, just like Basil, their hands reach directly into your pocket. Finally, when they are bored or tired or out of ideas they just take your money. The regulators, like the Floor Boss, simply cringe in the corner and hope for an indulgence as Wall Street leaves the room. Dear readers at this point I saw a bright light and heard music. It was clear to me what needed to be done to save the world. We did not need to bomb our enemies and go to war with them. All we need to do is allow Wall Street and the ECB to participate in the financial system of our enemy and, at the speed of money, our enemy will be suffering from a bloated banking system, a debt crisis, and potential systemic financial collapse. All the battleships and missiles in the world could not do more damage.
No light bulbs required
Dear reader you are not convinced. Let us examine my revelation a little more closely. Sadly for the people of Iran, Iran seems to be the enemy du jour. [Except in Mitt Romney's world where Russia is still on the menu as Public enemy #1.] Imagine if you will, if Wall Street had been training a generation of Iranians on structuring an economy and a stock market. Does anyone doubt that by now Iran's nuclear reactors would have been taken over in a leveraged buyout, broken up into its component parts and the land sold for a massive condominium development? The fact that no tenants would require light bulbs as the area still glowed at night in a radioactive haze would be presented as a remarkable free cost saving bonus to the prospective buyers. It would also demonstrate the developer's commitment to a greener environment.
How do you make 50 billion dollars disappear?
Still unsure of my conclusion, let us investigate further. Can you imagine if Iran's enemies had the ability to make 50 billion dollars of Iranians hard earned money disappear? Iran's Wall Street trained money investment bankers managers could do that before lunch.
Wall Street Summer
Imagine if Facebook had been an IPO exclusively available in Iran. $50 billion of Iran's wealth would have disappeared in what the media would surely have called a 'Wall Street Summer'.
Is there a way to share information with millions of people?
The ability to make your enemies treasures disappear in blink of an eye should not be underestimated. Few of us can make billions of dollars disappear in an instant, yet Enron, WorldCom, Dot.com, Nortel, and Facebook prove that Wall Street has mastered this skill. As a case in point, let us discuss Facebook. As it turns out there are hundreds of lawyers who will make a living off this IPO for the next 20 years. I do not want to get caught in a legal vortex so I will simply draw your attention to a recent article from Bloomberg Facebook Fought SEC to Keep Mobile Risks Hidden Before IPO. Apparently one of the issues that left investors perplexed was an unequal dissemination of information that investors might have found useful prior to making their investment decision. Specifically from the Bloomberg article "officials who, days before the IPO, privately advised securities firm analysts to lower earnings and The losses were acute for retail investors. They were allocated an unusually high proportion of shares after institutional investors balked. And they didn't get the same flurry of warning calls from Facebook profit estimates -- largely on the dearth of revenue from mobile users.
"It has been clear from the beginning that the insiders were bailing given that they sold $10 billion of shares and continued to sell as the lock-up period expired," said Francis Gaskins, president of IPOdesktop.com, an independent IPO research firm in Marina del Rey, California. "They clearly knew that the company's best growth rate was behind them and the stock was overvalued."
The Usual Suspects
This is too funny for words. I am imagining a group of Wall Street bankers, lawyers and accountants along with Facebook executives sitting in a board room as they puzzle over how to share this new information with a wide audience rather than just the 'usual suspects', namely the big money clients. 'If only there was a way to reach 800 million people with a message containing this information. If only there was a way to give us the power to share this information in a more connected and open world'. This would have been the question circulating the boardroom. The silence must have been deafening. Surprisingly it did not occur to anyone to post a message on Facebook and instantly inform 800 million people that new information had come to light. Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected To misquote Winston Churchill, "Wall Street can be counted on to the right thing only after they have exhausted all other alternatives."
Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction
It is clear that the real 'Weapons of Mass destruction are not found in the arsenals of the military. The true weapons of mass destruction are found in our global financial system. [Yes, I am sort of taking Warrens Buffet's observation regarding financial derivatives and twisting it a little to make my point.] There is no enemy in the world that can defend itself against weapons of mass financial destruction. The military, defense spending, nuclear weapons are all obsolete. Guns or butter is no longer a difficult decision. We do not need guns any more.
The 'Royal Flush' of armaments.
Ask the people of Greece about the efficacy of weapons of mass financial destruction. Whether it was the dubious accounting that was used to allow Greece to join the Euro or the perpetual pain that will keep Greece in the Euro, money manipulation, not guns clearly is the Royal Flush of armaments. Greece of course was never an enemy, however unbeknownst to Greece they were designated as Weapons Testing Facility by the European Union.
Wall Street is the 'Exit Strategy'
You may have misinterpreted my comments regarding Wall Street and been left with the impression that I question the positive contribution made to the world by Wall Street and its junior partners such as central bankers and other stock markets around the world. Let me be perfectly clear, Wall Street will be our savior. One of the most vexing problems that cause many observers of the financial system sleepless nights is the issue of a 'Central Bank Exit Strategy' from the massive liquidity created by the money printing and borrowing of the world's governments. How can these trillions of dollars be discreetly removed from the financial system in a timely and effective fashion?
One day the Central Banks will make a phone call
Dear reader do not be concerned. One day the call will go out from the Central Bankers asking Wall Street and other global exchanges to remove the liquidity [money] from the system. Does anyone doubt now that Wall Street will be up to the task of making trillions of dollars disappear in an afternoon? Exit strategy complete. Excess liquidity will no longer be a problem. As you can see the world needs Wall Street. Central bankers need Wall Street. Main Street needs Wall Street, well not so much.
If they don't fatally injure themselves first
Today the European Union was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Europe has reduced military spending and replaced guns with financial weapons of mass destruction. The only slight problem is that these weapons are very tricky to master. The European Union has shot off a few of its own toes, fingers and other body parts as it attempts to master these weapons. It may seem that the European Union is like 'The Gang that could not Shoot Straight'. However, if [and it is a big if] Europe can avoid fatally wounding itself as they learn about money they will be a dominant force in the world.
Walk Softly and let Wall Street be the Big Stick
Dear reader, as America reduces it expenditures on traditional weapons and relies more heavily on weapons of mass financial destruction, it will be able to devote the saving to debt reduction and investment in the future. It will begin an enduring recovery. Wall Street will become the 'Big Stick' in its foreign policy. Nations large and small will cringe with fear, terror and compliance when America threatens to do to their enemy's economy and financial system what American's have done to their own economy and financial system.