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Forum Post: What role should Wall Street Occupy in Society?

Posted 2 years ago on April 15, 2012, 10:32 p.m. EST by UFstudent (6)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Robert Schiller, renown Economist and Professor of Finance and Economics at Yale, describes finance as: "the science of goal architecture- of the structuring of the economic arrangements necessary to achieve a set of goals and of the stewardship of the assets needed for that achievement...It is a 'functional' science in that it exists to support other goals-those of the society..."

Do you agree with this statement? How would you define "Wall Street?" Is finance and "Wall Street" necessary for a democratic society to function? In what ways, if any, is Wall Street directly responsible for societal "injustices?" How do you define "injustice" and what is "fair?"

12 Comments

12 Comments


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[-] 2 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

I think that when attaining the goal became the only goal, that's where we got into trouble. Wall St. lost sight of what matters and lost sight of it's responsibilities to the societies of the world that put their trust in Wall St. only to have that trust betrayed. We resent greatly that betrayal of trust.

"Stewardship of assets" was thrown out the window for the sakes of boards of directors and CEOs protecting themselves by trying to cover up their own mistakes.

We as a society failed in that we didn't require that the largest investment houses break up into smaller entities, to continue to remain so large.

Is Wall St. responsible for societal injustices? Yes. Certainly. With such great power comes great responsibility. Wall St. failed everyone, itself included, and is responsible for actions in it's "gaming" of investors worldwide.

[-] 1 points by UFstudent (6) 2 years ago

Thank you for your response! In what ways did Wall Street "game" investors worldwide? What problems will breaking up large investment houses into smaller entities solve? Can Wall St ever regain the trust of the public?

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 2 years ago

You should already know how the game was rigged. If you don't there are more than several documentaries and movies on the subject that you should see. They're a bit "broad-stroked" but you'll get the gist of how the scam was run, by whom, when it began,what it entailed.. "Margin Call", "Inside Job" and "Too Big To Fail" come to mind. This one's on the house.

http://4closurefraud.org/2011/09/26/meltdown-secret-history-of-the-global-financial-collapse-documentary/

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

"the science of goal architecture- of the structuring of the economic arrangements necessary to achieve a set of goals and of the stewardship of the assets needed for that achievement...It is a 'functional' science in that it exists to support other goals-those of the society...Do you agree with this statement?"

If those goals include the theft of assets, no. Goals without moral guidance destroy the foundations of society.

"How would you define "Wall Street?"

A multitude of buyers and sellers whose majority's sole purpose is to increase their wealth, by any means necessary.

"Is finance and "Wall Street" necessary for a democratic society to function?"

Democracy depends on political equality. It's financial system depends on economic justice. If finance and wall street are not just, there will not be political equality, and Democracy will not function.

"In what ways, if any, is Wall Street directly responsible for societal "injustices?"

It is fair to invest and make a profit from another companies profit. It is wrong to make a profit from anothers loss.

"How do you define "injustice" and what is "fair?"

Fair is when both parties possess equal knowledge and equal leverage. Injustice is when one party possess unequal knowledge and unequal leverage.

[-] 1 points by UFstudent (6) 2 years ago

Thank you for your response. I wish to delve deeper into the discussion:

"If those goals include the theft of assets, no. Goals without moral guidance destroy the foundations of society."

In what ways has theft been committed? What goals lack moral fiber?

"A multitude of buyers and sellers whose majority's sole purpose is to increase their wealth, by any means necessary."

Is increasing wealth wrong? Who are the buyers and sellers increasing their wealth for? What about buyers and sellers acting on behalf on public pension funds? Is it wrong for them to increase their wealth?

"It is fair to invest and make a profit from another companies profit. It is wrong to make a profit from anothers loss."

Why is it wrong to profit from loss?

"Fair is when both parties possess equal knowledge and equal leverage. Injustice is when one party possess unequal knowledge and unequal leverage."

This implies that the financial industry has some knowledge unavailable to the masses. What is the nature of this knowledge and why isn't it possible for the public to gain the same knowledge?

Thanks!

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

"If those goals include the theft of assets, no. Goals without moral guidance destroy the foundations of society." In what ways has theft been committed? What goals lack moral fiber?

The loosening of financial constraints that led to the financial crisis showed a complete lack of moral oversight. Allowing reckless speculation in order to increase profits in the stock and housing markets resulted in millions of people out of work, huge losses in stock value, and the foreclosure of millions of homes. Some of us get caught up in the speculation as well. It wasn't all wall street. When the innocent are forced to pay the gamblers debts, that is theft.

Now I have a question for you. What is the motivation for your many questions?

[-] 1 points by UFstudent (6) 2 years ago

Thank you again for your engagement. I am a student writing a paper re: the role of financial capitalism in society.

I would very much like to hear your responses to some of the other questions posted above: "A multitude of buyers and sellers whose majority's sole purpose is to increase their wealth, by any means necessary."

Is increasing wealth wrong? Who are the buyers and sellers increasing their wealth for? What about buyers and sellers acting on behalf on public pension funds? Is it wrong for them to increase their wealth?

"It is fair to invest and make a profit from another companies profit. It is wrong to make a profit from anothers loss."

Why is it wrong to profit from loss?

"Fair is when both parties possess equal knowledge and equal leverage. Injustice is when one party possess unequal knowledge and unequal leverage."

This implies that the financial industry has some knowledge unavailable to the masses. What is the nature of this knowledge and why isn't it possible for the public to gain the same knowledge?

Thanks!

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

What role should Wall Street play in society? None. The too bigger to fail banks should be dismantled. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas anyway.

http://dallasfed.org/assets/documents/fed/annual/2011/ar11.pdf

[-] 1 points by Blank102 (86) from American Canyon, CA 2 years ago

And who is to define these things? The structure? It must be directed. By whom?

[-] 1 points by UFstudent (6) 2 years ago

I'm not sure I understand your response. Please elaborate. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 2 years ago

My own opinion is that the development of a movement that’s not only a protest movement against something but also an attempt to build something in its place. It is potentially a very early version of what I would call a dual-power movement, which is a movement that’s on the one hand trying to form the values and institutions that we want to see in a free society, while at the same time creating the space for that world by resisting and dismantling the institutions that keep us from having it. Occupation in general, as a tactic, is a really brilliant form of a dual-power struggle because the occupation is both a home where we get to practice the alternative by practicing a participatory democracy, by having our radical libraries, by having a medical tent where anybody can get treatment, that kind of thing on a small level and it’s also a staging ground for struggle outwards.

[-] 1 points by UFstudent (6) 2 years ago

Would you consider the financial services industry to be one of those institutions that keep you from having a free society? Why or why not?

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