Commenting on the WSJ's revelation that analysts and investment banks colluded when evaluating stocks, Dan Gillmor writes:
The wink-wink, nudge-nudge culture of Wall Street in the late 1990s wouldn't have given this e-mail a second thought. After all, didn't everyone know that the investment bankers were in bed with their supposed "analysts" of companies paying them millions in fees?
No, not everyone knew. Only the in-crowd knew. And the way they acted was disgraceful -- not that people like this appear to have any fundamental notion of shame, of course.
The people who didn't know were the general public. Yes, the small investors got greedy, but they were led into it by the sharks who have pocketed billions.
In traditional "Big Con
" grifts, the roper and the inside man work to convince the mark that by participating in some bit of harmless larceny, he will become immensely wealthy. The mark gets sucked into the scam and is eventually fleeced of every cent he can lay hands on.
Con artists say, "You can't cheat an honest man," because every mark believes that he is participating in a scam -- and he is, only it's not the scam he thinks he's participating in. An honest man, with no interest in ripping off a bank, or a betting parlor, or a rich, foolish stranger, or a small stock-exchange, will never be roped and never be suckered and never lose a nickle to the players.
This is the same specious rationalization used to describe the small investors who "got greedy." Analysts, bankers, VCs and snake-oil salesmen created an enormous con -- Enron even had show-rooms filled with fake traders that they staffed when the press came on tours -- that led millions to believe that there really was money to be had in playing the markets. And there was -- their money. They got had, and the grifters did the having.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
If you are camping during rainy season, or just want a TSA-approved lighter, these plasma torches make perfect travel companions. These gas-free lighters create a small plasma beam that’s safer than butane to use and more environmentally friendly. It creates a super-hot, splashproof flame so you can get a campfire going, or have a smoke […]
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]