Sprat Issue 56 – The Propping Of Stock Exchange No Matter What
By James Donahue
Stock markets are operating all over the world. And they are all linked in that they
involve the buying and selling of stock shares in big business corporations that operate with investments by corporate members
who own portions of the business through purchases of the stock it sells on the open market.
Technically, anyone can buy stock on the exchange. But buying and selling shares of
stock can be a risky business for low income people since the value of stock rises and falls on news about how well the company’s
product is selling and whether profits are expected to be shared. Thus playing in the stock market has evolved over the years
into a rich man’s sport.
Our friend with the code name Jack Sprat, from Godlike Productions, lists the "propping
up of the stock market at any cost, and any expense," as number 56 on his list of concerns. And he is quite right. Government
officials in the United States have gone to incredible lengths over the years to keep the New York Stock Exchange open and
running sometimes at great cost.
Remember that the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the collapse of the two
towers actually shut down the stock exchange located nearby, but only for one week. Even though many of the offices in the
Trade Center were directly linked to the exchange, the electric, water and communication links were severed and the entire
neighborhood was poisoned with the dust and debris from the disastrous events, President George W. Bush made the saving and
reopening of the exchange his top priority.
Some said they heard stories that the saving of the stock exchange was so important
that workers held up on the search for possible human survivors in the rubble until links to the market were repaired and
Efforts to keep trading flowing failed against Hurricane Sandy and the catastrophic
storm that accompanied its landfall along the New England coast on October 29-30, 2012. With much of lower Manhattan evacuated
because of the high winds, heavy rains and flooding, exchange workers stayed on the job, working from the upper floors of
nearby hotels but flooding and power forced the exchange to shut down anyway.
When the major U.S. banks threatened to fail in 2008 after the "housing bubble" broke
and billions of dollars in risky investments got flushed down toilets across the land, the Federal Reserve and Congress invested
heavily to keep the banks and major investment companies solvent, thus saving the stock exchange from a threatened meltdown.
The only other times that the New York Stock Exchange has been closed were a few months
at the beginning of World War II, and for a prolonged time in the midst of the Great Depression in 1933.
The markets in the United States and abroad are the hearts of business and the symbol
of the real god of the business world . . . money. Notice that the nightly television news commentators never fail to report
the day’s trading on the market and whether stock holders enjoyed profits or suffered losses.
For the majority of Americans the happenings on Wall Street have little importance.
This is news only of interest to the small minority of wealthy traders who play the markets and dare to risk their money on
the chance that they might increase their wealth by a smart guess in business investments. Entire businesses of investment
trading are operating successfully, advising investors on where to gamble.
It is true that the big corporations provide jobs for a lot of Americans when business
is good, but a lot of those jobs have been shifted to overseas locations in recent years. This is why there are so many Americans
left out of work, out of their homes, and going bankrupt.
It seems that our priorities are in the wrong place.