With the firing of Paul O’Neill, you get another clear signal that the Bush crowd is no different from all the rest of the political hacks.
The real issue in not about one man, the performance of markets or prospects for poll ratings in the next election. No, it
is about the struggle over economic policy. The enhanced interests of Wall Street usually comes at the expense of main street.
If people are confused about the reasons for the lack of free enterprise, within and among the corridors and
comptrollers of capital, they will never understand the nature of the clash of cultures. Wall Street capitalism is not identical
to free enterprise. Real and tangible businesses create new wealth. Trading stocks, booking options, and speculating on futures
just changes the home where the money resides. Raising new funds for serious investment is the proper function for any capital
creation system. But when the daily activities of a manipulated game are devoted to lining the pockets of insiders at the
expense of a vibrant economy, you are left with a fraud on the public.
O’Neill represented sound business thinking and wise policy. That is the reason he was removed from
a position of influence. The Wall Street culture is driven not upon the satisfaction of creating enterprises, but upon the
avarice of running up their stock prices, selling out their stock options and arranging golden parachutes. And those are the
goals of the managers who seek to establish the corporate businesses. The traders want to flip their holding at a quick profit,
the analysts wants to push the upside potential of a favorite holding within their own firm, and the short seller wants to
finesse a panic whenever possible.
This is the crowd that runs Wall Street. O’Neill did not play their charade. He had to go because he
would not duplicate the shams of Robert E. Rubin. Rubin not only should be investigated for his misdeeds as Clinton’s Treasury Secertary, but for his conduct
at Citigroup. George W Bush has set into motion a strategy that makes Karl Rove proud. Why should anyone be surprised? But don’t fall for the tired and mistaken diversion that Republican
are the darlings of Wall Street.
Any serious analysis of the political involvement of the exchanges will confirm that both parties sing to
the same tunes of the financial community. Alas, one man started to advocate the cause of real businesses and the value that
productive companies contribute to the whole society. The message is loud and clear. Forget the fundamentals, abandon the
issuance of dividends and omit any attempts to reform the practices that enrich the elites and drain the resources from the
public. When funny money is the legal tender medium of exchange, real enterprise can not compete.
Recognize that access to capital is restricted to only the approved. The economy of the Corporate/State hates
independent business. O’Neill represented the old school of principled corportate executives. No clearer example of
the difference between the clique of big government wall street sweethearts and a champion in the Walter Mitty tradition,
was his exchange with Senator Robert C Byrd at a Senate Budget Committee hearing. One can sum up the contrast with this line from the author James Thurber: “They're so damn
cocky, thought Walter Mitty, walking along Main Street; they think they know everything.”
With this attitude variance as the contrast in personal standards, O’Neill was doomed when he ventured
to challenge the government culture. Reform of the underlying abuses of Wall Street is the solution to an ailing economy.
The elites in Washington, are the cousins of the monopolists from New York and Chicago exchanges. They close ranks against
any threats to their self-serving policies.
When have you last heard the tax reform theme? Well, O’Neill had the audacity to raise a real issue!
In the post 911 world, that is the kiss of death. All that matters to this self proclaimed gentry, the nobility of national
enslavement, is uniforimity in message. THEIR message . . . Folks, real reforms; either economic or political, are impossible
within this context of deceit, diversion and duplicity. O’Neill is just the latest victim of this plutocratic club of
masters - for the oligarchy of administration. His lack of team spirit meant he must be made an example for committing heresy.
Businesses of substance should pay dividends to be a valid investment. Wall Street wants only a scalawag for
the Secertary of Treasury, that will be one of them - a proven scoundrel. Guess who really rules the United States of uniform
order. Money markets are an euphemism for parking cash, while it is really the actual name for the masters who control the
markets. A mere successful business executive is not able to break this monopoly. We admire his guts and principles. The prospects
of seeing more like him in public service, is remote. The tricksters are brutes and the villains are swindlers. That’s
the lesson of the Paul O’Neill experience.
SARTRE - December 8, 2002