Investors are complaining about volatile stock markets causing decreasing investment portfolios over the past three years post the worst recession since the Great Depression and about proprietary trading as a hedging device for institutional traders (soon to be fixed by the Volcker Rule); it seems the markets will remain suppressed by European debt worries caused by the wake of the financial crisis. Although to much focus can be placed on market reactions to news stories and cause the individual investor to loose sight of the true investments made in corporate America, Wall Street represents the USA town hall (second to the National Mall in Washington); the people must be heard by government officials, who can directly change policies and business men, who represent the sweat of America. Corporations (and Wall Street) have a fiduciary responsibility to handle money in the vested interests of making profits for the company and stockholders, so when money is put into the markets by individual investors it serves the duel purpose of buffering a 401k account and supplying corporations with cash to make valuable business investments. This duel purpose may seem obvious but it is important to examine when distinguishing between the perspectives of society and businesses. The individual investor positions cannot compare to the institutional investor positions, so many small time investors are left at the mercy of large firms with OPM and Boards of large corporations, who examine the stockholders as a whole rather than individually.
Policies to change the way Americans behave are practical in theory, but policies don’t always have the intended result and the recent superfluous demonstration of our government officials surrounding the nations debt proves the widespread epidemic of complaints without solutions (Our government officials are yet to decide exactly on a solution to our budget deficits). While government delays the decisions of how to handle the budget deficit and how to regulate the operations of Wall Street, the people of American society are left to wonder their fates. Vast uncertainty leads to unrest and panic, which I believe spurred the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Hard working Americans saw their retirement funds depleted after the stock market recession of 2008 and are only now seeing the original values return, while big banking CEOs who received tax payer money as bailout funds received dramatically high bonuses considering the economic condition caused by over speculation. Watching the wealthy profit from the bad economic times caused general populous unrest because most people saw their homes taken away, or lost a job, or lost discretionary income etc. Although, it is important to note the role of credit agencies (Aaa ratings were given to undeserving bundles of mortgages) and overextended homebuyers, who only barely qualified for loans and never had to money to pay back mortgage debt, in the crash of 2008.
This leads to the conclusion: the problem does not lay only on one group of people within business, government or society. In the system of democratic capitalism there exists vast amounts of systemic risk because the system can overheat quickly. Greed within the system is endemic and can only be removed by a complete system change or fear (A new monsters inc.?) Polices will not solve the worlds problems, although it is definitely a start. The only way to change the wealth gap is to get the conversation started (Occupy Wall Street is the 1st movement of its kind and has now gone global) like our Arab friends who have been revolting against the oppressive regimes since Spring.