|Is Wall Street a Fraud?
By Mark Skousen
Editor, Forecasts & Strategies
Time To Sell! 9 New Sells Triggered this Week
We’re targeting 10 small stocks with fantastic growth potential in precious metals... construction… energy… retail and more. Get your FREE report now and learn exactly where you should and should not put your money today.
“The business model of Wall Street is fraud.” -- Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist who is running for U.S. president
I’m teaching a class on financial economics at Chapman University in Los Angeles this spring, and right now we are discussing the image of Wall Street.
I start off with quite a few quotations from famous economists and critics who have a negative view of Wall Street, such as:
“Wall Street is a gambling house peopled with dealers, croupiers and touts on one side, and with winners and suckers on the other.” -- Nicholas Vargas, “Wall Street: The Other Las Vegas”
“For it is, so to speak, a game of Snap, of Old Maid, of Musical Chairs -- a pastime in which he is victor who says Snap neither too soon nor too late, who passes the old Maid to his neighbor before the game is over, who secures a chair for himself when the music stops.” -- John Maynard Keynes, “The General Theory,” 1936
“The capitalist economy is entailed by the rise of joint-stock companies, market speculation, gambling and swindling.” -- Karl Marx (emphasis added)
This latter quote reminds me of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for U.S. president as a self-proclaimed democratic socialist. He frequently claims, “The business model of Wall Street is fraud.”
Certainly, cases of fraud and deception are highlighted in the press. Once example is the Bernie Madoff scandal (see that accompanying “You Blew it” column).
But the truth is that Wall Street has on net balance a positive role to play in today’s society. In fact, selling stock to the general public is the most efficient way to raise capital and to advance our standard of living.
Peter Lynch, the famous manager of the Magellan Fund, clears the air when he states, “Although it’s easy to forget sometimes, a share of stock is not a lottery ticket. It’s part ownership in a business.”
And it is business that makes this country run. It is business -- entrepreneurship, capital investment, banking, insurance companies and technology -- that creates the jobs, the new products and services, and that pays the taxes. Wall Street, including brokerage firms, money managers, private equity and hedge funds, combine to employ eight million people. Are they all fraud peddlers?
It’s a stealth income strategy one of my colleagues is using to help his readers profit -- and in a big way. Learn more about this new strategy here.
In the “Wealth of Nations,” published in 1776, Adam Smith introduced a model, which he called “the system of natural liberty,” in which he described the three elements that are necessary to generate a progressive prosperity: freedom, competition and a system of justice (rule of law). He noted that the system of natural liberty would “moderate the passions” -- not that it would eliminate fraud and deceptive practices in business and finance, but rather that it would minimize them. The vast majority of Wall Street firms are run by honest, hard-working people, many of them my friends. Sure, there are hucksters, like in any business, but most on Wall Street are dedicated to making money for both the customer and themselves.
Granted, there are stock manipulators even today, but long-term investors and retirees can be comforted in knowing that over time if you invest in profitable companies with a good outlook, you will be rewarded. I showed my students this chart below demonstrating that in the long run, it pays to invest in free enterprise (the stock market). In the short run, stock prices (S&P 500) and the economy -- measured through gross domestic product -- can grow apart, but eventually they come back together.
Your Editor Will Keynote a Wealth Summit in Los Angeles
Attention, California subscribers! I’ll be the keynote speaker at the annual Wealth Summit sponsored by KRLA Radio (AM 870), one of the largest talk radio stations in Los Angeles. My topic will be, “The SWAN (Sleep Well At Night) Strategy: The Prudent Guide to Saving, Investing and Financial Success.” Join me, radio show host Larry Elder and Investors Business Daily’s Amy Smith on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 pm at the Westin Pasadena Hotel in Pasadena, California. The entrance fee is only $10. To register, go to http://www.am870theanswer.com. See you there!
Attend The MoneyShow in Orlando, March 2-5!
Receive free admission to the MoneyShow in Orlando, Florida, as a guest of Eagle Financial Publications and me. The show’s new venue is at Disney’s Contemporary Resort near the company’s famous theme parks. I especially encourage you to attend my presentation, as well as those of my colleagues Bryan Perry and Nicholas Vardy, among more than 150 other speakers who will address a range of income and growth investments. Resister today at orlandomoneyshow.com.
With experts predicting a plunge in the coming weeks that will dwarf that of 2008, you literally cannot afford to wait to learn this secret -- but simple -- investing technique. Because of one simple difference, you can buy stocks the same way you do now, only with much less risk and far greater reward potential. Click here now for the full story.
Special Announcement: Subscribers to the Skousen CAFE should be happy to know that for the first time in two years, I am hosting the Global Financial Summit, a special private investment seminar, in The Bahamas. The focus will be on “High Income & Fast Money Investing” -- combining my two most successful trading services!
My “All Star High Income & Fast Money” experts for this exclusive private meeting will include Alex Green, investment director of the Oxford Club, and editor of three trading services (Momentum Alert, Insider Trader and True Value Alert). Alex is rated the #5 best investor according to Hulbert Financial Digest. I’ve also confirmed Martin Truax, vice president at Raymond James, whose “income & growth” portfolio has more than doubled during the past 10 years. He and his partner Ron Miller also have developed a highly successful trading system using “red” and “green” signals to determine when to get in and out of markets (they flashed “sell” in May and now are flashing “buy” -- good calls!)
Our keynote speaker will be Steve Moore, the chief economist for the Heritage Foundation and the #1 columnist for the Wall Street Journal, who will speak on “Money & Politics 2016: The Inside Story for Private Investors.”
The dates are March 16-19, 2016, at the five-star Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas. This is during high “Spring Break” season, so I urge you to make your flight reservations now.
I want to encourage you to sign up now. The price is only $695 per person/$995 per couple. And hotel rates at the five-star Atlantis Resort start at just $209 per night. We are limiting this private meeting to 200 attendees only. For more information, visit the Global Financial Summit website or call Valerie at 1-855-850-3733.
LATEST NEWS: We have just arranged for an evening cruise on a private yacht owned by one of the attendees who is coming to our conference. Sign up today!
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my Skousen CAFÉ from last week about how gold looks to be the contrarian play of the year. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below my Eagle Daily Investor commentary.