All of us know how Wall Street innovation impacts our life in good and horrific ways. For Wall Street executives, it isn't just about stealing from Grandma's pocketbook or taking some of her cat food; it's about stealing her savings, social security, home and even her cat and cat food, along with cat toys. Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more apparent that Wall Street has no problem with gassing up the bus and backing it over Grandma and her cat.
Let's say Grandma saved her entire life and has every dime in her savings account. This is a Wall Street client, also known as a "sucker." Grandma has the cash, and in Wall Street "cash is king." Her savings account is less than $250,000, which makes it FDIC insured. Wall Street says, "Let's gamble the cookies in the cookie jar!" It is time for some unregulated high-frequency trading, or HFT. For traders, HFT is better than Las Vegas, because they will always win with rigged capitalism funded by FDIC-guaranteed money.
HFT has no regulatory oversight. The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, cannot monitor this type of trading, because of a lack of funding to acquire the computer technology and staff necessary to monitor the HFT market. More than 60 percent of all equity trades are HFT. These transactions occur in less than a second. That means Wall Street is in and out of Grandma's house in less than a second -- over and over again.
Financial planners have beat the concept of "buy and hold" into our heads. They tell us that holding an investment long-term is a rock-solid investment strategy that will make our wealth grow more than just short-term investments. But this contradicts the fact that most Wall Street transactions are less than a second in an unregulated market.
Are we supposed to hold an investment for 20 years or less than a second? Let's start calling HFT by its real name. Grandma and her cat would want us to do this. Wall Street has now perfected high-frequency trading to what can rightfully be called SHAFT trading -- super highly automated frequency technology trading. With SHAFT trading, we can declare the concept of "buy and hold" officially over.
At what point should the American people intervene and stop Wall Street from giving Grandma the SHAFT? Playing by the rules has become the scam. We have seen this movie before. Grandma has been to the rodeo many times. Putting your money in a bank that can engage in SHAFT is jeopardizing our financial system. Even scarier than this is the fact that nothing is being done to prevent this crisis.
Allowing Wall Street to gamble with unregulated, guaranteed money will undoubtedly lead to financial ruin. Regardless of any economic recovery that we may be able to muster, we will continue to end up in the same predicament due to the trading practices of Wall Street.
Eric Thomas (aka Harry Brokass), besides being a fictional character in his own book, is a certified public accountant who played by the rules and did everything right when he bought a home. Unfortunately, like many other Americans, playing by the rules just wasn't enough, and now he is a homeowner whose mortgage is twice the value of his home. This experience was the catalyst for Capitaol: Buying Our Democracy With Stolen Money, his attempt to even the playing field against Wall Street and "Super Congress World." Website: www.UniteCongress.com