Monday, January 25, 2010

Wake up Rip Van Winkle

Some of us did, but most people didn't see the March, 2008, general stock markets crash and subsequent "Great Recession" coming. For those who, like Rip Van Winkle, have been sleeping for the past twenty years, because everything seemed to be so fine and dandy, but now the world seems like a far scarier place, you might want to get caught up on what happened during your long nap.

If so, the recent writings of Stewart Dougherty are a good place to start. A Tufts University graduate Magna Cum Laude, with a double major in English and History, he started a successful company after college and sold it to attend Harvard Business School. Made a Fellow of the business school, he was invited by Harvard to write business case studies. The studies he wrote were published in several languages, and taught in business schools around the world. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1982.

Founder of a strategic consulting firm that served companies in the telecommunications and financial services industries, he was subsequently hired by client MCI Communications Corporation, and became Vice President of International Strategic Planning. Part of a team that proposed to integrate British Telecommunications and MCI, he witnessed Worldcom upset the deal, and acquire MCI Communications. He had grave concerns about Worldcom's viability, and directly after MCI's acquisition by Worldcom, he returned to his private consulting practice, where he has worked since. He is a Life Member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Worldcom with $107 billion in assets subsequently imploded in July, 2002, in the United States' largest bankrupcty at the time, dwarfing the prior bankrupcty of Enron with $63 billion in assets. I remember because the V.P. of Salomon Smith Barney at the time had strongly recommended both stocks to me shortly before each went bankrupt. Such events stuck in my mind, not to mention my craw, and did much to diminish the exceedingly small store of confidence I had in U.S. financial institutions after the Nasdaq market crash of March, 2000.

You see, I'm no genius. The Nasdaq crash of March, 2000, was the beating that woke me up. Consistently mislead by brokers, the U.S. Government, and mainstream financial information sources, it was not until after my own personal financial rape, I began reading what appeared to be die-hard skeptics of everything I had assumed to true about business and economics and began to form an understanding of how economics works in the real world.

Rather than being a passive instrument, like a plastic chip in a penny-ante poker game, I found that the US dollar had undergone radical transformations, while serving as the key weapon in a deadly serious class war, the aristocracy of wealth versus everyone else. Via the dollar: The Fed, major banks, Wall Street, corporations, and major media manipulate and control the government and public education and determine what passes as "economics"; in it there are no such things as: free enterprise, free markets, and real savings. Have not been for a long time.

That, however, is a much longer story than one mere blog entry can hope to address, but if you just want the highlights since the day the March, 2009, market crash slapped the sleep out of your eyes, here goes:

The Theft of a Nation
by Stewart Dougherty, Apr 10, 2009

Six Syllables to a Savage Truth
by Stewart Dougherty, July 14, 2009

Fort Knox, Fort Hocks or Fort Shocks: Three United States Gold Scenarios
by Stewart Dougherty, 23 July 2009

The Metastasis of Moral Hazard and its Effect on Gold
by Stewart Dougherty, 26 August 2009

America's Impending Master Class Dictatorship
by Stewart Dougherty, January 22, 2010

That ought to get your mind centered again, even if it leaves you fighting mad. But, you should be mad. Anger can be a motivator, to learn more, to spread the word, to vote. There was a time, long ago, when Americans were not very interested in sports. Politics was their passion. Maybe, you should turn off the TV, take up a new (old) sport, and get serious about it. Or, just roll-over and let the same folks who stole your money take what's left of your life.

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