We have a culture of blaming others for our problems and Main Street is now on a tear with this “Occupy Wall Street” movement that’s gathering steam. The thesis is that financial institutions and anybody who has anything to deal with financial institutions are bad. The government and the media help fuel the fire against Wall Street and make them scapegoats for the economic decline. That way, they’ll hopefully deflect the blame away from themselves.
One man from one Wall Street firm stood up and had enough. In 2010, he penned this letter below which started slowly circulating the web until it finally caught my eye. The letter is just as appropriate today as it was last year. He probably had nothing specifically to do with credit default swaps and other exotic instruments that helped cause our decline. “Wall Street” is a catch-all phrase that leads to a lot of unwarranted stereotypes.
Just because you work at Bank of America as a teller doesn’t mean that you are to blame for Ken Lewis’ empire building when he bought Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch for prices nobody in their right mind would pay, which is now leading to massive layoffs. Just because someone is a Latin America investment banker at Goldman Sachs doesn’t mean they are responsible for you buying 3 condos with minimal money down in Florida to try and get rich. No, the guy buying the 3 condos is responsible………… or is he?
Just because you have massive student loans and can’t find a job, that doesn’t mean the US economist working at JP Morgan had anything to do with your situation. Maybe it’s because you borrowed more than you could afford? Or maybe it’s because you didn’t do well enough in school or go to a better school for that matter. Why protest an irrelevant economist when you could protest right at your very own school!
If you are a raging populist, who is easily offended, and complains a lot, perhaps you shouldn’t have a read. But, if you’re a normal rational person who likes to see both viewpoints, take a look and let’s discuss! Remember, this letter is a retort against the media and the protesters who’ve attacked him, his family and his industry for months.
“WE ARE WALL STREET” EMAIL