Number 85 Broad Street, a dull, rust-coloured office block in lower Manhattan, doesn’t look like a place to stop and stare, and that’s just the way the people who work there like it. The men and women who arrive in the watery dawn sunshine, dressed in Wall Street black, clutching black briefcases and BlackBerrys, are very, very private. They walk quickly from their black Lincoln town cars to the lobby, past, well, nothing, really. There’s no name plate on the building, no sign on the front desk and the armed policeman stationed outside isn’t saying who works there. There’s a good reason for the secrecy. Number 85 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004, is where the money is. All of it.
Financial innovation is Wall Street's new 'soul sickness'
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- Could our headline just as easily read: "Financial innovation: Wall Street's biggest con game?" How about: Rip-off? Joke? Oxymoron? Maybe "Wall Street's big lie?" Or something darker: "Financial innovation: Wall Street's deadliest sin, greatest evil, even soul-sickness?"
In fact, they all fit. Each reveals Wall Street's dark side: Why are they at war to keep financial innovation secret, hidden, without public transparency? And why is Wall Street spending millions on lobbyists to kill financial-regulation reforms? Why? Because Wall Street rakes in tens of billions of dollars annually from their financial innovations, gambling in the shadowy $670 trillion global derivatives market.
That means Wall Street's blind "anything goes" obsession with financial innovation is totally consistent with the rules of the new American capitalism. Morals, ethics and the public good are irrelevant in the rules of Wall Street's new mutant American capitalism.
Wall Street's only restriction is to obey the 11th commandment: "Thou shalt not get caught." And when you compare the number of indictments from the 2008 meltdown to earlier ones during the Enron-era scandals and the S&L frauds (plus add in the $23.7 trillion debt those same "too-greedy-to-fail" crooks scammed from American taxpayers), you can easily see why Wall Street is clearly living within the rules they created for the new mutant American capitalism.