Did the bailout just squander our best chance for social change?
I was calling local brokerage and investment firms, asking how the market crashes and bailouts were affecting these companies’ local clients.
I started feeling naïve. Did I really think anyone would answer? Did I expect Victoria’s Investors Group or some self-employed broker to cry, “We’re losing money like crazy! Don’t tell our clients!”
Instead, people directed me to national offices or begged off with a tone of, “We’re comfortably riding out the storm, but we’re extremely busy right now/all day/all week/please god don’t call back.”
U.S. companies were similarly secretive until the moment they tanked; after all, nothing undermines a shaky financial firm like a public admission collapse may be imminent. Criminal fraud investigations are underway against some companies, too late for the victims.
And there are more victims daily. Obviously, many here and elsewhere have been losing – by mid-October $2 trillion in U.S. worker pensions alone. By the time you’re reading this, much will have changed, so I won’t prognosticate.
But looking back, I’m starting to think our unwillingness to be openly honest just made us squander what may have been the greatest opportunity for serious social change of our lifetimes. Continue reading