by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Senator Bernie Sanders has come closer than anyone on the Presidential campaign trail in defining what Wall Street actually does. Sanders has repeatedly stated at his rallies that “the business model of Wall Street is fraud.”
That analysis is correct but abbreviated. Sanders needs to go further. It’s not just Wall Street’s business model that has left the United States with the greatest wealth inequality since the Roaring Twenties (a time when Wall Street investment banks were also allowed to own deposit-taking banks). It’s how Wall Street is monetizing that fraud that poses an existential threat to the solvency of the United States and the impoverishment of millions of Americans.
The attempted WeWork Initial Public Offering (IPO) of last year was a classic example of how Wall Street can put lipstick on a pig, pass it off as a hot new startup company, and sell its shares, which were overpriced by about $40 billion, to unwary public pension funds and mutual funds that dominate millions of Americans’ 401(k) plans. The IPO failed to materialize simply because alternative media sent the dirty details of the offering viral, forcing business media to cover the story.