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.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
If you own a dog, you’ve most likely heard of BarkBox – the monthly subscription box for dogs. What started as a simple idea to try out the subscription model on pet owners has since developed a cult following of dog lovers. If you haven’t given it a try yet, this one month free deal is the […]
With the iPhone headphone jack having gone by the wayside, we’re excited about the addition of the FRANKLIN Bluetooth Headphones in our store. These headphones are foldable so they’re easy to carry around, but most importantly, they pack impressive sound. Our biggest struggle with Bluetooth headphones is the worry of them dying at the worst moment. This pair lasts an impressive 8-10 […]
Evan Kimbrell, founder of the digital agency Sprintkick, recently released a series of online courses that feature some of the best advice we’ve come across. These courses are well worth your time, and will save you from making many typical mistakes down the line if you ever want to start your own business.With this Business […]