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Time to rein in Wall Street

Most of us watched the economic collapse of 2006 without being prepared. We didn’t know why it was happening. I saw the sub-prime interest rate on mortgages and mortgage-backed securities as a major risk to the economy, as I traveled around the world.

Now we have an economic collapse due at least in part to poor testing (preparedness), poor national response. We’ve again left it to the “free market” to be ready. The free market failed, as it always does with long-vision projects.

So today, we read that Wall Street players are taking advantage of the economic collapse and generating lots of profits. At this point in our economy, this is a zero sum game. Added value is not being created. Startups are down 50% over the past several years, as mergers and acquisitions replace public offerings. Unicorns, designed to crush the competition with massive capital, including Uber and others, are not robust or decentralized.

And Wall Street, driven by AI and machine trades, has found a way to extract more money from more people and super-centralize capital. Super-centralization is not resilient. It simplifies an economic attack strategy by identifying a central feature of the economy, as banking/insurance/brokerage mergers did.

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It’s time for Wall Street and the Securities and Exchange Commission make selling short illegal during an economic collapse. We’ve seen how selling short accelerates the collapse before. Let’s not do that again.

Alex Huppenthal

Aspen


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