Round Up: The 99% Occupy Wall Street Ignores

by JT McGee

Occupy Wall Street can go to hell.“Seven.”

“Twenty-one.”

“Ten.”

Time seemed to slow to a crawl as the numbers were repeated to me over the phone.

From the very instant I heard “twenty” from the voice on the other end of the line I knew what was coming shortly after.

Those numbers represent a date, July 21, 2010, a dark day for the world of finance and finance marketers.

I was on the phone with a…eh, recruiter, you might say, and he was repeating to me the horrors I already knew. July 21, 2010 was D-Day. It was Dodd-Frank Day. The day that a single bill would wipe out my client list, destroy the business models of many of those closest to me, and by fiat order of the government, change the financial industry forever.

Dodd-Frank was supposed to be the end-all bill to the financial crisis…and it was. It would fix all financial crises from July 21, 2010 on by ensuring that banks were always too big to fail and that the little guy– those of us who had worked hours on end to grow the financial industry–would see their livelihoods flash before their eyes.

I know this piece of legislation inside and out. I can tell you now that it does absolutely nothing to fix the problems it purports to fix. I know, because unlike Congress, I actually read it.

It was supposed to change the regulatory environment for derivatives, and it did on the retail side. But it didn’t do a single thing to change the derivatives markets in the institutional leagues. It just made the little guys slave to the bigger fish. The institutional derivatives market—untouchable for Dodd-Frank—is the real source of the housing crisis, second only to Congress, of course.

Fast-Forward

One year later we have an Occupy Wall Street made up of the very people who championed Dodd-Frank. The people who will approve any big government measure so long as it is sold under the guise of regulation.

I sit here looking into the TV; I’m looking at the people who patted each other’s backs as my job, and the jobs of countless others were made illegal. There was no regulation or reform that would come from Dodd-Frank; it would just make some very legitimate and gainful businesses illegal for no reason other to appease the voting public and the financial companies that wrote it.

Occupy Wall Street would prefer everyone were poorer, so long as it meant that the difference between rich and poor were smaller. I was poorer for the “regulation,” and it’s taken a year to climb out that hole. Never again will I live my life on the assumption that my job can’t be made illegal.

The Takeaway

Ending financial crises is a noble goal, but it is an impossible one. Alas, no one cares because they haven’t yet come for you. I hope everyone realizes that their job is not safe; the career they’ve spent years to develop is not certain.

I pity those who think that their income is bulletproof. They’ve unfortunately yet to realize that it isn’t, that one day they might wake up to a reality where their labor is illegal.

Occupy Detroit because cars kill millions of people each year.

Occupy San Francisco because some websites have viruses.

Occupy Elkhart because recreational vehicles spew greenhouse gases.

Finance will stay on top for a very simple reason: the financial industry knows what it’s like to get completely f***ed by voters who think that they can fix the financial industry, even though they can’t balance a checkbook. Just wait until the next wave of regulations take on “Main Street” jobs.

Interesting Posts this Week

When faith kills, by Darwin. Very interesting perspective on a lot of investing/personal finance matters.

Bar Stool Economics Shows why a Progressive Tax System is Wrong by Sam. The comments section inspired this post.

A post on Situational Awareness by 101 Centavos. Great story!

This is for you, OWS–Want to start a green business? by SPF. Great opportunity to make a difference, make some money, and leave us in the financial industry alone!

Getting Laid Off For the First Time by Kevin at InvestitWisely. Awesome post.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sustainable PF October 28, 2011 at 11:47

Thanks for including our article JT!

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JT McGee October 30, 2011 at 20:44

I hope people take the advice. 😉

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Financial Samurai October 28, 2011 at 16:31

4 more years JT! The markets are en fuego! Alas, I’ve paired down my equities today and am now only 40% equities, 60% FI/cash.

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JT McGee October 30, 2011 at 20:44

4 more? Until you retire?

The markets are en fuego. Your allocation is way too safe for me.

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PKamp3 October 29, 2011 at 09:31

Thoughts on the ‘Volcker Rule’? As bad as the ‘Buffett Tax’? (Haha: http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2011/10/25/why-paul-volcker-soured-on-the-volcker-rule/ )

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JT McGee October 30, 2011 at 20:42

The problem with prop trading is that it’s misunderstood.

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Tony @ Investorz Blog October 30, 2011 at 05:54

I pity those who think that their income is bulletproof” I totally agree with you. That’s why I tell young people to work for themselves as entrepreneurs, and get out of the corporate rat race.

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JT McGee October 30, 2011 at 20:43

I work for myself as an “entrepreneur” (really don’t like that word, since it’s been twisted to mean “unemployed) but that doesn’t stop the long arm of overreaching bureaucracy. If government wants to eat you for lunch, it will.

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Funancials October 30, 2011 at 09:27

As a former online poker player, I share your pain.

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JT McGee October 30, 2011 at 20:40

Funny you say that, because many of the people I work with now fled the poker industry after a change in laws. My business is still legal, just very, very consolidated after the change.

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