According to Old
Lodge Skins: "This will be the first time I have ever faced the whites
as an enemy. I have always believed they had a reason for what they did and
I still do. They are strange and do not seem to know where the center of
the world is. And because of that, I have never liked them but never hated
them either. However, recently they have been behaving badly towards the
Human Beings. Therefore, we must rub them out." When Jack Crabb was adopted
into a Cheyenne tribe, they knew that the spirit of his adopted grandfather
would foretell Custer's Last Stand at Little Big Horn. From the 1970 movie,
Little Big Man, Dick Grasso might learn an important lesson.
The New York Stock Exchange is in turmoil, not because of the mammoth compensation
for the resigned head of the tribe, but because it lost its way in search
of an incessant happy hunting ground. That other “little big man” survived
the wrath of the cavalry. Jack saved his own life by saying to the
horsemen: “God save George Washington.” So what would the father of our country
say about an exchange that breeds greed more often than a new-sprung papoose?
The rightful purpose of any stock market is to raise funds to finance new
business ventures and to increase capital to expand existing partnerships.
The ordained nature of a public company is that shareholders are the intended
owners and the enterprise exists to conduct commerce. When cherry trees are
clear cut, you won’t plant a thriving Mount Vernon on Wall Street. The real
skirmish is more with imbibed braves than simply counting the loot.
Inbreeding within a culture that operates upon the false parameter that making
money is what the markets are all about, caused the trail of tears for the
rest of the last Cheyenne that lost their fortune with the expansion of carpetbaggers.
Be honest and stand up as did the young George. Tell the truth, admit the
offense. The New York Stock Exchange is the extreme closed shop. In an era
where specialists hang onto their privileged position in making markets,
we see the auction taken to levels of decimals when it used to be a fraction.
If efficiency was the rule, computer trading and NASDAQ would reign. Not
so, the prevailing chief on the street is still the Big Board.
Dick Grasso is no Geronimo. By all calculated standards his leadership has
been superior. However; the fact that analysts, hedge fund managers, stock
totters and insider traders grew rich and loved the bubble, doesn’t means
that prosperity came to the wilderness. Scalps taken from defenseless settlers
is a sign of success for the savages. Pilgrims in search of a heaven on earth
are treated as squatters, because the land is owned by the Corporate/State
axis. The NYSE is an icon of Capitalism, while it stifles Free Enterprise.
When a real hero of American business, TJ Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor,
says on the Neil Cavuto program that the exchange has forced disclosure and
reporting requirements upon his company, but operates as a secret club for
brokerage firms, we get the real story. Investment bankers that pray to their
saint -- JP Morgan -- seek their afterlife salvation within the consortium.
On the same FOX News, “Your World,” from an interview with James Needham, former NYSE Chairman:
CAVUTO: You say Dick Grasso has to go. Why?
Well, I think it’s pretty apparent at this point that he has done a very
fine job for us, but the truth of the matter is that his board hasn’t been
of assistance to him. They’ve come up with these cockamamie ideas on compensation
and they just misled him.
You’re supposed to have a board that supports you and gives you good ideas
and prevents you from getting into trouble, and Dick didn’t have that kind
of treatment. That’s why I feel the way I do. He goes because it’s just too
late to save him, and the board goes because they showed incompetence at
Here is the question that good old George Washington would answer. Is the
incompetence of the NYSE board due to a departure of business as usual, or
because they were stewards at the time, when their self-serving actions were
In the spirit of full disclosure, the sale of our business was to a NYSE
company that enhanced our retirement. Notwithstanding, taking the cash; the
reality of being underwritten for a public float would have been infeasible.
The clique for the cabal doesn’t allow mavericks to get financing from the
exchange. Since the fundamental function of creating financing has been abandoned
for the fun sport of playing the horses, the odds of beating the casino are
slim. The point is that there should be no house that runs a stud poker game.
All they should do is to raise money to stake the prospector. The business
of trading steeds is a function that would best serve the public if it was
separated from the Kudlow’s and Cramer’s.
Proposals from Hank Paulson, Goldman Sachs CEO, that would prohibit securities
industry directors from sitting on the NYSE Board, allowing them instead
to form an advisory committee with no governance or voting power, are just
a start. At least it is finally acknowledged openly, that there is an inherent
conflict of interest currently embedded in the Big Board's structure -- namely
that its board members are regulated by the Exchange itself. The correct
solution is not more regulation, but separation of functions into segregated
Grasso was a big man in promoting and distancing the NYSE from other competitors.
He can hardly be assailed for not performing. On the contrary, he could contribute
to a systematic dismantling of a culture that turned on him. The little ‘man’
is actually the big gorilla itself. A cartel that actually favors the big
government model, because it puts down the little free enterprise startups
that might take market share away from the behemoths that acquire and merge
with each other, behind closed doors.
Don’t fall for the slick cardsharp. The sharks swim in broad sight on a street
paved with illusion. Crazy Horse is outgunned against this army of suits.
Grasso is being tabbed as a fall guy to avert attention from the core avarice
that has supplanted the mission for legitimate profits. Like Jack Crabb,
Grasso is now tarred-and-feathered. Will he join a new regulator as an act
of revenge against the exchange? Will he make a stand at the battle for the
little guy or will he still support the big tin horns? Jack was saved at
Custer’s last stand and found himself back with Old Lodge Skins. History
is yet to be recorded on a warrior named Dick.
Sartre is the pen name of James Hall, a reformed political operative. His website is Breaking All the Rules.
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