Monday, January 13, 2014

To Catch a Trader And My Mixed Feelings

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, these guys are a pack of assholes. They are masters of the universe, wealthy, mostly white, and almost all male. They have undoubtedly been part of the global economic crisis as we now know it and would, given a position of power, exploit and abuse that power. I would hate these people if I knew them. (Watch the full documentary here.)

On the other hand, what they did is one of the smallest problems in the stock market, and yet it is the only problem we ever seem to prosecute. The intro of the documentary quotes Preet Bhahara saying "It doesn't matter who you are, the rules are the rules and the law is the law."

Well... that's wrong. It does matter who you are and everyone knows that. There is far shiftier behavior transpiring on Wall Street and those criminals never go to jail. These people wrecked a good hunk of the global economy, and very few of them have even been investigated. Look at how long it took them to investigate Madoff!

I'm speaking about this as an ex-day trader. That's one of the reasons I'm angry. I've seen the inside of the machine. I've seen the gears turning. There are genuine changes that can, and should, be made, but focusing on some insider traders ignores those prospects. It is similar to the year or so after the crash, and how so many people were obsessed with vilifying short traders, all the while completely ignoring the actual problems.

And yet here we are, the problems aren't fixed, and we're going after the same people instead of the real criminals. How's that windmill, guys?