“Us and Them”: Who Stimulates the Wall Street Mentality

Control. It’s what puts the millions of dollars every year into the pockets of the big wigs, and even the small wigs, in the Wall Street arena. However, who really stimulates the consistent persistence of this Wall Street mentality? Is it us or them?

We live in a culture of I want it now, credit cards, quick loans, social security, and government handouts creating an atmosphere of little planning for the future and makes us feel entitled to whatever we want, giving us a false sense of safety. It seems the mentality is, “everything will work out for me eventually, if I can’t figure it out someone else will for me.”

Margaret Heffernan (no relation to Doug that I know of) says in her recent article on economics,

“It’s worth noting that I know many people in banking and finance who are committed to using their expertise and their institutions to empower and fuel constructive, value-creating businesses. What troubles me is that they are mostly overwhelmed by a culture that just can’t resist the fast buck, market flimflammery, and related manipulation that earns them champagne, big bonuses, and the admiration of their professional peers. ”

However, is it really our fault as a culture? Who created this culture?

“You Have to Be Trusted By People That You Lie To”

I’m seeing all around me, stories of banks getting involved in millions, and billions, of dollars of risky investments–and losing a lot of money. We see large investment banks struggling or even going out of business. And at the base of all this, it seems the mentality, no matter who originated it, isn’t working out too well for anyone.

Whenever there is a bubble, a mentality, an ideology, or any type of overall culture persuasion, you can usually bet the media, usually with money on the mind, has something to do with it.

And this is exactly where I would say the origination of this “culture” comes from.

When large mutual fund companies, banks, and other investing giants have a lot to gain from your dollars staying in their pockets, of course they are going to take a good chunk of your money and put it to use, convincing you to give them more of your money. Or advertising.

This is where huge media corporations make so much money, so why wouldn’t they start a channel or 2 just for financing advice, where they can make a lot of green?

This is where those touting investment advice and the media come together to make this insatiable Goliath.

Why do you think people like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman stay on the bill?

It’s in everyone’s best interest to keep this easy-money market mentality going, everyone but you the consumer.


What Can David Do?

I say it’s all about control. If you want to stop major banks from investing our dollars in risky investments, we have to give them less control, if you want to stop the hemorrhaging of retirement dollars down the market drain, we have to give them less control, if we want to stop creating major bubbles and giving Wall Street brokers our dollars to buy their 4th vacation home off the coast of the Mediterranean where you most likely will never even go, we have to give them less control.

We can’t continue to permeate an unhealthy state of mind and expect a healthy state of economics or government to exist. Because, even though the chips are stacked against us, and even though I have painted the picture that the fault is on them, they cannot give us anything we do not accept. So leave it all on the table, and keep your control.

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By Josh | Follow Josh on Twitter