Thursday, 10 November 2011

Memory loss

Ideologically, the pro-occupy argument is so much more advanced in the US than it is here. Here, the we are the 99% riff gets played to be sure, but without much gusto cos there’s too much down with all bad things everywhere vagueness plus predictable Trots and what nots in the way. Hey ho.

But, I think something that appears to be missing from even the US schtick are memories of the Dot Com bubble. Remember that? You know, the period from 1995 to 2000 when there was a seemingly new paradigm on the horizon.

The thing about the Dot Com bubble was how it once again brought the following quote from the 1920s to life: “A visitor was being shown the wonders of the New York financial district, and his guide pointed out some handsome ships in the harbour. “Look, those are the bankers’ and brokers’ yachts.” “Where are the customers’ yachts?” asked the na├»ve visitor”.

New paradigm or not (not) the self-same heads they win tails you lose thang was abundant during the Dot Com era. Venture capital houses raised dosh from investors then pissed it all away on utter dog companies. But, that’s all good cos the 2 + 20 of a 2% charge on all funds raised (and 20% of any eventual profit) meant it didn’t matter if the company was a flop cos the sheer act of raising a fund made those financiers mucho dosh.

Then there were the investment banks; to make the big money from a dot com thing you needed to go public i.e. sell shares to the public via an initial public offering or IPO. The investment banks made this happen, charging big fees in the process. Even better, investment bank analysts bigged up each IPO in public at the same time as telling people in private it was an utter dog to avoid. And so it was relatively average people pissed away millions investing in utter dogs.

Now d’ya see the common pattern emerging here? You invested in a venture capital fund. They make money if it’s a donkey or no.

Next, you bought shares in an IPO – and again the investment banks organising it make money if it’s an utter donkey or no.

Essentially, the Dot Com bubble was about transferring money from rubes/punters/schmucks to whoever set up the mickey mouse companies in the first place AND the financiers involved in sorting them out for an IPO, boosting their prospects and then selling them on with huge, hypocritical conflicts of interest all over the place.

For me the Dot Com bubble is another relatively recent example of how the sexier, higher paid end of the financial system tends to ass rape ordinary people while charging them a commission for the “pleasure”.

So sure, sure the assets and type of transactions were different and the fact the Dot Com bubble was about internet entrepreneurs and financiers fleecing a greedy middle class of its savings limited its economic impact. But, still a mentality was on display then that I reckon is still very much in place today to the point of being deeply institutionalised; these fuckers don’t give a fuck about consequence and will fuck you over raw to make themselves big money. As such I wonder to what extent the organisations involved should be considered an open threat to the actual economy and be treated as such as a result?

No comments:

Post a Comment