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Obama and the New Financial Literacy

February 10, 2009

E.J. Manning

Geithner working his magic

Geithner working his magic

Financial literacy has been defined as the ability to understand finance. Americans have based their life on that literacy, whether they personally owned financial literacy or not. In the past, this idea was blithely cast on the little man to point out lack of learning and ignorance versus the genius and success of those running the financial system at large. One of the laws of operational financial literacy is the idea to trust but verify. The idea of trust but verify is a noble and seemingly well-intentioned idea. However, considering the recent admissions and economic results regarding the lack of financial literacy among mainstream banking, the investment community, and the land of government, the idea of trust but verify rings hollow. Financial literacy rings hollow because accountability has been abandoned on the most rudimentary level, further proving the fallibility of devised economic theory where humanity is concerned, especially among the halls of greed.

Not so long ago, Federal Reserve Governor Randall S. Kroszner noted that “market participants must perform due diligence, a process to gather and assess relevant sources of information to evaluate. Due diligence is critical because financial and market participants must trust but verify the market-provided information.” This hasn’t been done in the interest of profits, laziness and expedience. Diligence has proved to be literally impossible because of the complete and overwhelming lack of financial literacy, accountability and detailed transparency in what the system does.

The current administrations has vowed to take a new direction in a press briefing by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

investment-ponzi-madoffUp to now, Wall Street and government neglect have continued to reward thieves that receive large bonuses, largely funded with taxpayer monies. Wall Street distributed $18.4 billion in bonuses in 2008 to the people who crippled the national economy with their recklessness and greed. The government has obliged the American taxpayer to bail recklessness and thievery out in perpetuity. Can the nation continue such an outrageous position?

What does verify mean? What steps could a banker or investor go through to verify? What should you verify? Verify engenders the thought of quickly calling up and talking with a ‘knowledgeable person’.  In a financial sense, verify engenders the idea of scanning over a prospectus with a brief summary of intelligent and accurate investment details. The idea of stress testing has been proposed to be based on existing valid knowledge and very often, financial theory. None of these, together or separately, is sufficient to protect a national banking system ruled with profit motive and the endless backing of the taxpayer.

Financial literacy hasn’t worked. Powers that be are still trying to sell the snake oil that validates collective Doctorates and PhD power. There is simply no transparency or details in the process, nor is there any measure of responsibility. The complete lack of financial literacy among powerful bankers has been compounded by the banking derivatives and instruments they designed. Clearly, these banking tools were created with the idea of exploiting profit without a regard for the future. The professionals at the top haven’t really been concerned with financial literacy, but they will be quick to paste that premise on your life. Bankers and experts are quick to blame the undereducated American that bought more than they could afford, even though both government and business sold the lifestyle as the only way to go. The American public continues to be subjected to  ‘the do as I say, but not as I do’ mentality.

Trust is to be earned. Not a person or expert in the banking and finance world has the human dignity or collateral of trust at this time. In fact, the opposite is true. Especially in the United States, banking avarice has run from top to bottom. This is fact, not fiction. Therefore, the ability to trust is a foregone conclusion because the financial, banking and governmental system is not trustworthy beyond the one man that we pin our hope on. The government has done little and prefers to look forward. The political embarrassment is too great. Lawmakers have been complicit in the process and reduced the world of the average American to economic slavery in the promotion of unabated capitalism: the cost of doing business for the last thirty years.

Because of this truth, the idea of trust has become a quaint old-fashioned idea from the past. This is the hell that bankers, financial managers and investment brokers and now Americans across the nation face. The world looks at us and shakes their head is despair and unbelief. They are involved because they have put their stock and trade in the American system as well.

Who is trustworthy? Not a single person in authority connected to the United States should be to an outsider. As a people, we have depended on experts to do the right thing and we have followed the rules. Americans have become sheeple, as Ted Nugent loves to say in promoting Republican ideals. The idea of trust has become a recipe for destruction for the American people because of a complete lack of accountability.

Therefore, Americans must arise and hold those in authority accountable and culpable for what they do. Criminals at the upper levels of finance and government must be dealt with accordingly and ‘we the people’ are responsible to see that this happens. Otherwise, our society has devolved to a useless, baseless and immoral existence, dissolving much like the corruption of the legendary Roman Empire. We have been taught to follow rules that no longer exist. Americans have been sold a bill of goods. The goods have been undermined and the future of the land is at stake. The Obama administration wants to promote the ways that Americans used to live by. Unfortunately, the same people that caused the problem are fixing the problem with the same flawed thinking. ~ E. Manning

The Audacity of Dopes by William Black

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 2, 2009 7:31 pm

    In this article, it is stated that the government has done little. Or nothing.

    Where is that idea from? The government I have been following over the past six and a half months has offered up the banks and those in charge of a “stimulus plan” and those who want Toxic Assets to be purchased (From the Dead Zone), a niffty 2.9 to 8.1 trillion dollars, depending on whom you get your figures from

    This is hardly doing “nothing.” Anyone who took an economic class before the Chicago School took over the lexicon of “economics” and thrust it into the awful territory that helped bring about this collapse, any of us “Old School” economics people understand that whenever this much money is pushed into a financial system, inflation and tragedy result. Oh, not for the banking class, no not for them.

    But we saw that under Clinton, when the same people (Geithner, Rubin and Summers) put together a mere twenty billion dollar bailout of the Mexican economy, overnight the Mexican worker, who had been averaging 87 cents, saw that amount fall to 47 cents.

    So what then? When it finally dawns on the American people that as sweet as President Obama seems to be, and as pretty his wife and cute his kids, we have been sold out once again, and this time the sellout might take ten years to several generations to undo, then what?

    Already a very conservative neighbor of mine is talking about taking to the streets. But since the government also owns some fancy new equipment that can pump up to one million bullets a minute, I doubt such a street revolution would profit anyone. Yet when things have soured to an even further worsening of our situation, (already those of us on foodstamps total 10% of the population) then what?

    Should the gopvernment go bankrupt, and not be able to pay those still optimistic about things (Many of my friends who receive disability or Social Security don’t even think there is a problem, except for other people) the catastophe will be apparent, but the solution will lie in???

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