Friday, September 4, 2009


Hedge funds and the purveyors of other such arcane financial instruments are "making a killing" off the upswings and dips in the markets. With the estimate of over a quadrillion dollars worth of these financial instruments in existence, it boggles the mind how much "money" can be "made" by playing the roller coaster markets with super-fast computers and inside information.

But what does in mean to "make money" in this sense? All you have is a bunch of fancy pencil-pushers doing the equivalent of casino gambling (and they are the insiders, the House, as it were); nobody is actually creating any tangible wealth. Farmers produce crops, manufacturing plants make finished goods, and miners dig coal and iron ore. But these financial big-wigs spend their days accumulating large numbers of electronic "dollars" that are linked to nothing we can actually hold in our hands or put to any practical use. Yet they are considered the wealthy among us, the self-proclaimed "best and brightest."

But the day is coming when they will in vain try and trade some of those trillions of electrons for something tangible, say, a loaf of bread. Then we'll see if they're really The Masters of the Universe they claim to be. At that point, I'd say that the plain old farmer might have a bit of advantage on them.

I must admit that I'll relish seeing the "suits" squirm. Too bad a lot of innocent folks will probably go down with them. Live well . . .