Chart of the Day – Wall Street vs. Main Street

Chart of the Day – Wall Street vs. Main Street

Michael Krieger | Posted Tuesday Apr 12, 2016 at 9:41 am

Wall Street is counting its winnings from seven years of easy money.

The results represent a clear victory for Wall Street over Main Street, according to the team of Michael Hartnett, BofA’s chief investment strategist.

“Zero rates and asset purchases of central banks have, thus far, proved much more favorable to Wall Street, capitalists, shadow banks, ‘unicorns,’ and so on than it has for Main Street, workers, savers, banks and the jobs market,” the BofA team wrote.

– From the post: Bank of America Admits – Central Bank Policy Enriched Wall Street While “Steamrolling” Main Street

When I first started this website several years ago, part of my mission was to convince as many people as possible that we all have a common adversary, the U.S. status quo. Back then, the public was still largely confused. Still in financial shock from the crisis, many Americans hung onto hope that if they just kept their heads down and worked hard things would get better. Well they didn’t get better, and they aren’t going to.

The reason things aren’t getting better is because the economy is rigged. A weak, largely phony cyclical recovery isn’t going to help you, nor will time, technology or empty promises from corrupt politicians. The only thing that’s going to change things for the better is massive, paradigm-level systemic change. To achieve such change, the current oligarchy needs to be overthrown. This isn’t meant to conjure up imagery of pitchforks and guillotines; however, it is meant to bring home the point that the current cadre of discredited, corrupt and unethical “leaders” running the show and crafting public policy need to removed from any and all positions of power through democratic means. The good news is that the public is beginning to understand this, and you can see this desire through the rise of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

In some ways, a lot of the work already has been done. Citizens have finally figured out they’ve been duped, which is half the battle given denial is such a powerful emotion. The key challenge from here is to choose a better path; one of liberty, real free markets, civil liberties, ethics and the rule of law . The primary objective shouldn’t be to thoughtlessly overthrow the status quo out of anger and get something worse, the key is to evolve and move on to something better.

Another realization I’ve come to over the years is the fact that the status quo really isn’t that sophisticated and savvy. They generally recycle the same Jedi mind tricks over and over to prevent people from understanding what’s really happening. In today’s post, I want to highlight one in particular.

For those of use who recall how the mainstream media, compromised pundits and Wall Street welfare babies “sold” us on the unconscionable banker bailouts, we vividly remember a constant repetition of the invented and preposterous mantra that “helping Wall Street in turn helps Main Street.” This fantastical idea that the fortunes of Wall Street and Main Street are inextricably linked is, of course, total garbage and always has been. More specifically, over the past 25 years you could, and should, argue that Wall Street’s financial success has come via a total abandonment and pillaging of Main Street.

For some data points, let’s turn to Bloomberg:

Five years after Occupy Wall Street protesters took over Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, spawning a national discussion about the divide between America’s highest and lowest earners, the pay gap has only gotten wider. Now, even as bankers bemoan their declining bonuses and job prospects, it’s helping fuel the campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

The spread is even more pronounced over the past 25 years. When adjusted for inflation, wages for investment bankers and securities-industry employees, including salary and bonuses, increased 117 percent from 1990 through 2014, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Over the same period, wages for all other industries rose 21 percent, to $51,029 in 2014, about one-fifth of the $264,357 that bankers and brokers earned that year.

Now here’s a visualization of how badly Main Street has performed vs. Wall Street:

The next question one should ask is, how has Wall Street helped the U.S. in order to deserve such incredible financial success? Well they mass produced fraudulent products, destroyed the global economy and then demanded a massive taxpayer bailout for starters. A year after the banker bailouts, Wall Street bonuses were at record highs, while Americans were still being kicked out of their homes. That’s about as close a link you’re going to find between Wall Street and Main Street.

The reason I bring this up today is not to increase the public’s rage against the bloated financial sector and the obvious harm it does to society, but to highlight an example of how the status quo invents and propagates a myth in order to deceive the public. The good news is that they always keep recycling the same myths, so once we understand their game plan, the potency of their lies diminishes. Let’s make sure they can’t use the Wall Street/Main Street one ever again.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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