Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 20, 2012, 4:33 p.m. EST by Progression
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
*EDIT: This method has successfully caused a response! There is now evidence showing the degree of effectiveness this form of protest holds. See Anti385's or RayLansing's post.
Ladies and gentlemen, you all have an inherent power within you. A power to influence and convince others. This style of protest will test the limits of that particular power you all hold if you so choose. How far will corporate corruption prevail? As far as we let it.
This experimental protest will attempt to collectively pool our abilities to influence investors. Many might not realize this but financial corporations are far more sensitive to negative PR than corporations in other industries (Walmart for example). They are even more sensitive to negative PR if they have to work with investors who are most likely nervous in this economic environment. Corporate giants do not care about people but they certainly do care about their finance. After all, corporations that neglect their business are defunct ones. So why not directly protest their business by giving them negative PR? Something that will embarrass the firm or something shady about their business usually fits the criteria.
Many have camped out and showed solidarity so why not take it to the next level? Here is an example of where this worked brilliantly (and this is not even in the finance industry):
I hope to encourage disgruntled employees of other firms or experienced investors to pool their knowledge of weaknesses in financial products. The more we know about what makes these financial giants tick, the greater advantage we will gain. This thread contains valid product issues that investors would like to hear about so we are basically just shining light into the shadier areas of this particular financial business.
Why target State Street Bank? Why not go for bigger corporations? This corporation is fairly large with a history of exploiting taxpayers. State Street serves as a decent starting point until other disillusioned employees give out information regarding their respective firm. The articles below shows how State Street profited from bailouts and the bonuses that came after:
As for its size, check out State Street's SPDR Gold Shares: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_gold_reserves#Privately_held_gold
Now, I will clarify a little more on this corporate giant. State Street Global Advisors, a division of State Street, directly manages stock-like products called exchange traded funds or ETFs for short. Their brand of ETFs is named SPDR or 'Standard and Poor's Depository Receipts'. One specific ETF that SSGA manages is called SPDR GLD shares as seen here: http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GLD
Each share of SPDR GLD represents 1/10 ounce of gold and is 'supposed' to be backed by physical gold. More information here: http://www.spdrgoldshares.com/sites/us/faqs
Current ways to influence State Street's business involves raising the visibility of SPDR GLD questions or any news article that is negative towards GLD. News articles that exposes SSGA's dirty past can be used to the same effect.
The operation here is to bring these questions or article links to any place (such as a financial board or the commentary section of a relevant news article) where it will get a good deal of attention from investors. I urge people to stay focused to financial areas to maximize effectiveness since the average joe might not know what we are talking about. Going off course from financial areas might just amount to giving State Street free advertisement.
One goal is to drive investors away from the SPDR GLD product which should not be too difficult given this economic environment full of anxiety. Investors are much less tolerant of flaws in financial products and we would be doing them a favor by informing them of these sketchier aspects of GLD Shares.
Another goal is to aim for SSGA's reputation by repeatedly reminding everyone of their past fraudulent activities documented in news articles. This will cause discomfort amongst anyone doing business with SSGA and carries a degree of long term effect. Not many people are willing to work with proven con artists. This will help keep investors aware of the misconduct this firm has repeated committed.
"Is the physical gold backing GLD insured?"
This question is dangerous to SSGA because they do not have proper insurance on their physical gold. They only have a superficial agreement with HSBC bank that feebly tries to attach some liability to HSBC Bank. Even their FAQ does not explicitly state that their physical assets are uninsured. In fact, it is written in such a way that it can potentially mislead investors to believe that the gold is insured. This also leads to the question of "why are they so afraid of insurers taking a closer look at their physical assets?".
"When will the GLD price be readjusted to reflect the exact amount of physical gold?"
This question exposes the weakness (I would almost say a scam) in the way that GLD expenses are paid off. SPDR GLD expenses are paid off by selling a portion of the physical gold that SSGA owns. This artificially decreases the value of a GLD share because there is a declining amount of physical gold backing each GLD share. The GLD share price becomes less accurate in tracking the real price of gold even though SPDR GLD was created to follow the price of gold.
The following articles have done some investigation into flaws of GLD:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2011/11/15/is-gld-really-as-good-as-gold/ This forbes article discussing risks and issues of GLD is a well rounded article to spread around. The article successfully hammers away at the difference of investing in GLD versus investing in physical gold.
http://www.financial-planning.com/fp_issues/2012_2/gold-tax-code-2677041-1.html?zkPrintable=1&nopagination=1 This financial planning article examines intricate tax concerns that might not be a surprise to experienced investors. This article is best used to sway newer investors.
http://www.marketskeptics.com/2009/02/risks-in-owning-gld.html This market skeptics article is outdated and for your own knowledge only. It addresses many key problems of GLD that is still relevant today. The one point that is no longer relevant is the auditing argument because GLD is now audited.
The following articles document the dirty history of SSGA:
Other notable flaws of GLD:
GLD still faces strong criticism for the lack of a redemption feature. Even though each GLD share is supposedly backed by physical gold bullion, only "authorized participants" have the right of redemption. That is, the right to redeem physical gold bars for their GLD shares. This GLD flaw was touched upon in the previously mentioned Forbes article.
Here is a message I've seen before that brought attention to State Street's shady business in a very efficient manner (note that this message is tailored for investors who already know about SPDR GLD):
“Did anyone try reaching out to State Street Global Advisors and asking if GLD's physical assets are insured? I've personally called them at 866-320-4053 to ask about the state of GLD's insurance. They said that there is no insurance but at the same time they claimed HSBC bank do have insurance policies on their holdings. I could not get them to elaborate on this 'claim'.
There are not many ways for the average investor to validate GLD's physical assets. Even the prospectus is full of legal writing removing liability. On top of everything, the GLD manager - State Street, has been shown to be less than trustworthy (Carina CDO, multiple instances of forex fraud). Where is the credibility in GLD?"
Feel Free to copy and paste the quoted message to a financial section of your choice if you just want the most direct way to join this protest. Remember, every time you spread your message containing the key points here, you will be protesting a financial corporation in a way that they cannot ignore. Post in this thread if you get banned or have your post removed from somewhere so we can all have a laugh at the ineffective attempts to silence us.
The farther this idea spreads, the greater chance we have to encourage other disaffected employees to come forth and pool in some knowledge of their firm. Any feedback is welcomed so don't hesitate to post any questions, comments, or suggestions.