The Stock Market and The American Dream: It Hasn’t Always Been About Goldman Sachs and the Greed and Control of Large Investors

Posted on October 5, 2011

Over at, my good friend has written a blog that has had an electrifying response titled “The Ugly Honesty of a Financial Trader.”  The response was overwhelmingly in favor of tar and feathering the man in the video below and riding him out of town on a rail:

Like all other stories, there are two sides and in the case of the young man above, his side is indeed ugly.  Uglier still is the fact that large corporations with their computer trading have taken over the market – a market once driven in large by the small investor with dreams not greed in mind.

My comment below had to do with my family’s history with the market and how it saved us from the devastation of the Great Depression.  It has to do with the fact that the democratic operation of the market has been killed off and that is what needs to be corrected.  Sadly, it is like everything else.  It has been manipulated by the big investors.  The truth is one willing to take risk has always invested in the market.  But the risk was greater in the past century and the outcome less controlled and controlled by one class of investor – large, corporate.

People were horrified at the arrogance of the young man in this video and could not believe his story was true.  Further they now represent public opinion of the market today – that it is all about greed and money.  For the small investor, it used to be about dreams.  The dreams were made possible by the intellect and knowledge of the investor.  It was not always about greed.  It was about, well, what people like my Grandfather could achieve:

I have to say that in my family, the story rings true. Out of a job and with a family to feed, my grandfather on my father’s side started buying up stocks with the little cash he had left. He made enough to care for the family and, in the case of my late father, to care for him in his 18 year illness.

Remember, until recently, the vast majority of people in the market were small-time people sitting at their computers and learning the ins and outs of day trading, etc. It hasn’t always been about Goldman Sachs.

There are two sides to every story. While this one is most definitely true, the good part is that not so much today but years ago, the market was just another financial tool to invest in and try to make a profit. The important thing to remember is that in large, ANYONE who plays the market is subjecting themselves to risk and because that is true, the reward some reap is justified. They are taking a risk in American business and that is no small thing.

It isn’t always about greed. It is also about survival in tough times. The big question is can the market ever again be opened up to the small investor?