Side Effects & Symptoms
What’s going on with the haywire stock market?
No one can say for sure — and it’s likely multiple causes, anyway.
But here’s a (rather roundabout) theory.
What’s happening now with the stock market — indeed, the entire economy — is a symptom, a side effect.
Zero percent interest rates, high unemployment, economic malaise, staggering debt — you name it.
The real culprit is society’s failure to adequately hold Wall Street to account for its execrable — and costly — behavior.
If you want a parallel, think about the period just after World War II.
What policies and actions — at least by government — lay the groundwork for post-war prosperity?
Abroad, the Marshall Plan helped a devastated Europe recover.
At home, the GI bill gave millions of returning servicemen the chance to go to college, and ultimately become contributors to a robust, vibrant economy.
But I’d argue that it was the Nuremberg trials that truly under-gird society’s post-World War II healing.
Wall Street Wrongdoing
By convicting Nazi leaders in a public court of law, the Allies showed that they were not only physically superior to Nazi Germany, but morally superior as well.
That’s because they conducted their affairs in accordance with the rule of law.
That’s what gives a society moral legitimacy.
In the aftermath of The Crash of ’08, there has yet to be accountability for rampant Wall Street wrongdoing.
Until that happens, the financial system will be plagued by a lack of moral legitimacy, and no one should be surprised if an unreformed Wall Street continues to behave erratically.