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This Is Not Wall Street

"Wall Street" The Movie, That Is

February 2. 2009

Judging by the conduct of some in corporate America, one would think they believe they are the living embodiment of the movie "Wall Street." Through the Madonna case, I witnessed firsthand how easy it is for others to engage in widespread fraud and theft in corporate America, bribe government officials and corrupt the court system, to evade the legal consequences of one's criminal misdeeds.  There are many companies in the banking, investment, internet and entertainment industries engaging in this type of widespread misconduct, but there's only one problem with that ...it destroyed the economy and took other nations along for the awful ride.

The fact of the matter is, it is too easy to engage in fraud and corruption in corporate America and that needs to be changed. Some, though not many at this point, may find it hard to believe such a level of corruption and fraud exists, but it does. To those skeptical, I say, just take a look at the Madoff case. He cost investors $50 billion and reportedly didn't even make a single trade. Had he just placed the money, at worst, in CDs, there would have been roughly $2 billion in interest. That money, plus the principal, is now wiped out of the economy. In December, I warned there were other Madoffs out there and shortly after those cases began to surface. It illustrates that there is an overall problem in corporate America with fraud and it is in dire need of regulation. 

Competitiveness

Some would say corporate America is competitive, which is true, but there is such a thing as being too competitive. Competitiveness is good when it spurs grow, innovation and new ideas. Competitiveness is bad when you start stealing competitors' copyrights, trademarks, patents and employees to copy their business mold. Instead of two companies generating income, you only have one and it adds up as that destructive pattern repeats itself many times throughout corporate America. It is not good for the nation's bottom line.

Competitiveness is good when companies try to outdo each other, in who can legally come up with the most groundbreaking product, lifting the level of innovation in the marketplace. Competitiveness is bad when your idea of becoming number one in trade is to hack into your competitors' computer systems, wiretap their company's phone lines, break into their offices and homes, steal their products and intellectual property and try to drive them out of business through other dirty tactics.

Instead of having a variety of companies, due to that terrible corporate ideal of "I must destroy the competition, literally"  small and mid-sized American companies got swallowed up and crushed all over the country, in unfair business practices, as the legal term goes. That hurts the economy, as any idiot knows, the more companies a country has generating income, the stronger that nation's financial core shall be. If your idea of winning in business is literally destroying your competitor's company, thus damaging national income as a whole, you are a psychopath that belongs in prison.

Change In Corporate America That Led To Disaster

America never used to be like this, but over the last 10 years a pattern emerged of companies engaging in greater acts of misconduct. With George W. Bush in office the past 8 years and his terrible Laissez Faire policies, large corporations took the gloves off and obliterated smaller ones, doing the economy a great deal of damage, landing the nation in this current mess. That's called poor leadership, by the way, Mr. Bush. It was like leaving a lion to babysit a rabbit. In America, it used to be there was room for everyone in the corporate world. Now, if you start a business, there is a 90% chance you will get ripped off and decimated via some form of fraud or "unfair business practices."

Being a good businessperson does not mean gouging and cheating the consumer and destroying any potential corporate rivals. All the companies that engaged in this madness singlehandedly destroyed the top economy in the world with their greed. This is not Wall Street the movie where "Greed is good." This is real life. You are not Gordon Gecco. You are dealing with a living, breathing economy comprised of jobs that represent people's mortgages, cars, college tuitions, healthcare and insurance.

These are the building blocks that comprise people's financial lives and when destroyed through corporate greed, via unethical business decisions, it has the potential to hurt a national economy and the world, leaving many lives damaged. You cannot do this ever again. The cost is simply too great.

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