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How to Buy Complicity: A Rising Stock Market Bails Out Everyone

Corporate management loves a rising stock market--it's the ideal setting for dumping one's stock options. Politicians love a rising stock market--since the vast majority of one's campaign contributions flow from wealthy people who own stocks, then the "wealth effect" of a rising market makes one's contributors happy and fattens their contributions. And as a bonus, this "wealth effect" is great PR for the unwashed masses who don't get much of a direct benefit because they own at best a few thousand bucks of mutual funds in an IRA. But hey, that warm fuzzy feeling of a rising market makes everyone feel like "good times are here again," even if they're only marginally attached to the trillions of dollars in "new wealth" being generated. Government employees love a rising stock market, too, because it means they won't have to contribute much to their own pensions. What every employee wants is a return to 1995-1999, when the stock market enabled a quantum leap up in their "sweetened" benefits packages. The financial media loves a rising stock market, because it helps generate positive buzz and more readership and advert sales. Wall Street loves a rising stock market, because it masks the entire panoply of fraud and embezzlement that is the beating heart of Wall Street, from high-frequency skimming to the "never have a losing day" trading desks. The Fed loves a rising stock market, of course, because it makes the Fed look successful and omnipotent. The President and his administration love a rising stock market, too, because it offers up a welcome sheen of economic "growth" that extends the promise of the mythical "self-sustaining recovery" just around the corner.

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