Message from the editor: “Before I officially begin, this is my best attempt at breaking down a very complex financial meltdown with a bi-partisan approach. In other words, the facts are facts and are presented accordingly. It has taken me hours and hours to piece it all together. Conflicting opinions and views are everywhere. I poured through books, videos, articles and contacted individuals first hand. I wanted to learn the truth and share it with my readers, but I had no idea just how complex and surprising my search would eventually reveal. I wanted this to be short enough to read in one sitting but long enough to explain the full story. Thus, I believe all the elements of the big picture of what happened to the American financial system is here. This piece was created and dedicated to those out their who are still unsure what happened and distrust Wall Street. In many ways, I wrote this because there many good individuals working in the financial industry right now. Lastly, I have the highest hopes for America and believe, without a doubt, that this country has a fantastic future ahead. Please enjoy, and comment accordingly.”
Sometimes we find ourselves caught in a full blown paradox of beliefs, questions and ultimately change brought on by some need. This is America right now, going through painful change brought by fear. Change is heading into the unknown, the dark abyss. No ones enjoys the painful process of real change. What feels familiar feels good.
Societies since Rome have thrived on the concepts brought by rules. However, like Rome and countless empires the world has known, all have failed. But why? A solid question would be what separates where we are now from where they were then?
The American Dream?
Fact or Opinion- The average middle class American loves the idea of the free market, of pure Capitalism, of the ability to have the America dream? This “dream” has been drilled into our psyche. Many believe it is our right to own land, a home, to raise a family, own a business and give our children a better life than we had. And, if fact, it is.
Is this the real definition of Capitalism? Better yet, could you please point out in the United States Constitution where it states, “America shall have a pure-free-market Capitalistic economy?” Please find where it states capitalism once, because it ain’t there. But, are we finding out the American dream is unattainable, or even worse, unsustainable?
The 1 %
This is also a piece inspired by the wealthiest 1% in America, for whom control the other 95% of America’s wealth combined, and ultimately, the ability to control power on Capitol Hill. This a post that was inspired by greed and the powerful inside individuals in banks, top government regulation committees and law.
However, the fundamental fact here, my main point, is that because we the people can vote, thus we the people have the ultimate power to change who runs our democratic society. Please let me try to explain.
Knowledge, Capitalism and Democracy
Knowledge has forever changed how humans perceive their world and themselves. Knowledge truly is power. Knowledge is the fact or state of knowing; the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension. When one travels down the road of knowledge, especially specific knowledge in specific areas, one can eventually become an expert. Now I am no expert, but I have laid the foundation for sound financial knowledge apprehension.
It is with this foundation I get to my point, our current democracy vs. capitalism.
Like any lawyer, one could argue two sides of this story. For example, most everyone loves the concepts of socialism, of social programs like welfare, social security, medicare, public schools, law enforcement, military protection, etc.
Then there is the other side, with pure capitalism’s free-market financial industry, privatized health care and social services, health insurance and pharmaceuticals, private banking, etc. I can go on.
Greed and Mankind
Gordon Gekko states in “Wall Street” words that practically sum up my two points of this debate. This quote is from Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street”, “The richest one percent of this country owns half (today more than 95%) our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? It’s the free market. And you’re a part of it. You’ve got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I’ve still got a lot to teach you.”
Gekko is also famous for saying greed is good. “greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”
I illustrate that quote because in too many ways greed has caused the markets to implode. Yes, it is true that greed in the financial markets has always existed. The market always runs in a sicklicle cycle, bull markets (up) give to bear markets (down), good years turn to poor years. To truly understand how we got to where we are, one really has to go back years and years.
The American Financial Story Begins- years and years ago.
In all honestly, having spoken to a number of people and reading a number of books, I am even hard pressed to say what was the defining element. Truth is, there are several large factors. One could say things like going off the gold standard, complex technology entering into the trading system, quantitative financial theory’s, sub-prime CDO mortgages backed by insurance, Fed Reserve policies, derivatives, deregulation of the banking industry, etc. That about covers it.
A bit about American History
First a little history, because history is needed. Think back before the stock market crash of 1929 and before the great depression, commercial banks and investment banks either worked closely together or in many cases were one. Laws were passed such as the Glass-Steagal Act. Among other things Glass-Steagal divided commercial banks and investment banks so that people’s savings would not be put at such investment risk. Why?
Over the years other country’s unified banks had an advantage over American banks. Thus, congress moved to even things up and re-unify the banks and set up a regulation and monitoring system to make sure that what happened to help lead up to the Crash of 1929 did not happen again. The law is called the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, passed in the Clinton Administration. The measure lifts barriers in the industry and allows banks, securities firms and insurance companies to merge and to sell each other’s products.
Clinton defends his move to reintegrate banks and to this day defends his position. BusinessWeek.com, Maria Bartiromo reports that she asked the former President whether he regretted signing that legislation. Mr. Clinton’s reply: “No, because it wasn’t a complete deregulation at all. We still have heavy regulations and insurance on bank deposits, requirements on banks for capital and for disclosure. I thought at the time that it might lead to more stable investments and a reduced pressure on Wall Street to produce quarterly profits that were always bigger than the previous quarter. But I have really thought about this a lot. I don’t see that signing that bill had anything to do with the current crisis.”
The Credit Crisis and racism?
In a few ways this policy helped lay the foundation. However, you may wonder how the credit crises got going, which is a much bigger element. Well, it all starts with a policy of fighting racism. According to the writer Chuck Norton, “The policy of fighting “racism” and “redlining” by ACORN and the government forced banks to make riskier loans in areas less economically stable or viable and customers who had low income and were a high credit risk. Banks said it was risk management, Democrats said it was racism.”
This default risk, which all banks were subjected to was amplified because loan customers wanted fixed rates and depositors wanted a variable rate. The banks had to keep enough liquid assets to cover loans. This limited the number of loans that a bank could issue. Banks were being pushed into more lending by the political and regulatory environment. So how did they get around these problems and buffer the risk? (Cue Enthusiastic Music!)
Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) such as the now infamous Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created as a partially private corporation backed by the U.S Government to buy loan bonds or buy the mortgages outright from banks. Congress created a regulation and monitoring agency called the OFHEO that reported to the Banking Committee’s in the Congress and exempted them from reporting to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). OFHEO is paid for by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and is not paid for by the tax payer. (although in the end with the bailout package it was in many ways)
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and OFHEO are a part of the GSE system and are not real constitutional agencies as authorized by Congress under Article I Section VIII. Political appointees (not financial leaders) were placed in charge of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These people included guys such as Franklin Raines, Jeff Johnson and former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. (after the scandal was revealed many of those individuals made millions in bonuses.)
So the stage is being set!
So the government is encouraging risky loans, citing the full support of Fannie and Freddie. Combine this with unsound accounting practices and that fact the congressional committees wanted more loans dished out. So, this is going well, but eventually the market has to have a down period, right? Well many Americans didn’t think so and went on a real estate spending spree.
So that new mansion that you bought with nothing down and a low 30 year sub-prime mortgage (that banks were pushed to give) almost always bore floating interest rates, but most of them came with a fixed, two-year “teaser” rate. A mortgage created in early 2005 might have a two-year “fixed” rate of 6 percent that, in 2007, would jump to 11 percent and provoke a wave of defaults.
In many ways, the American public was lied to by companies like Country-Wide, whom spent millions on media buys about refinancing your home when interest rates are so low. For the many Americans whom went down that path did not read the fine print and the unscrupulous swine whom sold them were happy to make any sale to meet their bonuses.
The Positive Economy Ain’t Helping Anymore
Three events in the economy greatly accelerated the rate of default on the loans. Energy prices skyrocketed because of increased global demand and OPEC, causing food prices to skyrocket and slowing the growth of the economy. (remember 4+ dollar gallon gasoline?) Also, many states were raising property taxes and as time went on housing had become so inflated that it had to make an adjustment.
Greed Without Doubts
So here is the terrible part where, in this instance, Capitalism’s free-market greed goes terribly wrong. It is now apparent, without a doubt, that corruption and influence peddling infected the entire system. From Chuck Norton, “While the law made it clear that sound financial principles were to be practiced, political pressure caused people to look the other way. The political cronies running Fannie and Freddie realized that they could make themselves rich with tens of millions of dollars in bonuses by buying more loans to make it seem on paper that they had all this money coming in from people’s house payments as if the loans they owned were good, but they weren’t. Too many of the loans were high risk, they had bought “bad paper”. The bonuses were spread around, but they wanted to keep the cash train flowing and help their fellow political friends so Fannie and Freddie gave $200 million away in political donations, to candidates and partisan organizations, a majority of those being Democrats. Barack Obama and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd were the two biggest recipients of this money in the Senate. Fannie and Freddie had become the money train for the corrupt. The regulators who reported to Congress warned what was going on but members of the banking committee who were getting paid didn’t want to hear it.”
In fact, President Bush, or some members inside his party urged him in many ways to find a way to better regulate these Fannie and Freddie organizations. But, this is politics, so pressure comes from all sides. For example, this came from an New York Times article from Bush’s administration. ”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”
Wall Street Love
The issue is that everyone on the inside realized that this was going to make them a fortune. Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, UBS, DeutscheBank, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and other high profile Wall Street banks and funds mired in the mortgage fiasco. The plan worked brilliantly, up until the crash. Those who benefited the most by far are top Congressional Democrats like Dodd and left wing organizations. I am not on a side, in fact I am a moderate, but the facts do not lie. Don’t believe me? Read this article, “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Invest in Lawmakers.”
Improper Accounting Scandal, yep…
From New York Times, 2006: “OFHEO may be facing a more difficult task than Fannie Mae as it prepares to try to recoup the many millions of dollars Mr. Raines and Mr. Howard received as a result of the improper accounting. Regulators have said that of the $90 million paid to Mr. Raines from 1998 to 2003 at least $52 million — more than half — was tied to bonus targets that were reached by manipulating accounting. The restatement was announced after the market closed yesterday. Earlier, shares of Fannie Mae rose 57 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to $58.50. The stock once traded above $77 before the scandal was disclosed in the fall of 2004.”
Shares today trade less than a penny.
From another article, “Democratic Cover-up for Fannie and Freddie Led to 2008 Meltdown“. Waters seemed particularly proud to say “since the inception of goals from 1993 to 2002, loans to African-Americans increased 219 percent and loans to Hispanics increased 244 percent, while loans to non-minorities increased 62 percent. Additionally, in 2001, 43.1 percent of Fannie Mae’s single-family business served low-and moderate-income borrowers…” She then said “the GSEs are working” and reiterated her opposition to more oversight.
The Perfect Storm finds a Warm Front, Credit Default Swaps
Starting to sell the picture by now? Well, let me add in the other critical elements, the multi-billion dollar hedge funds whom lost at times as much as half (or more) of their capital. You have heard the concept of “Two Big To Fail” by now. However, before I get to the hedge funds, I want to be sure to fully explain what a credit default swap is, and how it is a legal securities product.
A Story About Michael Blurry and Credit Default Swaps
Let me try to take the truth (and your understanding) to the next level. Many individuals saw the gravy train and jumped on, but not Michael Blurry, who played against the market. At this point I want to explain what a credit default swap is. I can’t explain it better than Michael Lewis, so here are bits and pieces his article from a recent Vanity Fair, “Betting on the Blind Side.”
“A credit-default swap was confusing mainly because it wasn’t really a swap at all. It was an insurance policy, typically on a corporate bond, with periodic premium payments and a fixed term. For instance, you might pay $200,000 a year to buy a 10-year credit-default swap on $100 million in General Electric bonds. The most you could lose was $2 million: $200,000 a year for 10 years. The most you could make was $100 million, if General Electric defaulted on its debt anytime in the next 10 years and bondholders recovered nothing. It was a zero-sum bet: if you made $100 million, the guy who had sold you the credit-default swap lost $100 million.”
Basically, Michael Blurry (one investor whom saw the coming disaster) found that using credit-default swaps on sub-prime-mortgage bonds would in many ways be his best bet to collect on defaulted loans. “The only problem was that there was no such thing as a credit-default swap on a subprime-mortgage bond, not that he could see. He’d need to prod the big Wall Street firms to create them. Inside of three years, credit-default swaps on subprime-mortgage bonds would become a trillion-dollar market and precipitate hundreds of billions of losses inside big Wall Street firms. Yet, when Michael Burry pestered the firms in the beginning of 2005, only Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs had any real interest in continuing the conversation.”
To make a long story a bit short, Blurry went on to fund Scion Capital in 2001 with a bit more than a million dollars. By the end of 2004, Mike Burry was managing $600 million and turning money away. Goldman Sachs not only sold him insurance on the pool but sent him a little note congratulating him on being the first person, on Wall Street or off, ever to buy insurance on that particular item. Blurry truly was in uncharted territory. By the end he owned credit-default swaps on $750 million in subprime-mortgage bonds.
Blurry said this to his investors when they began doubting his bets, ““Markets erred when they gave America Online the currency to buy Time Warner. They erred when they bet against George Soros and for the British pound. And they are erring right now by continuing to float along as if the most significant credit bubble history has ever seen does not exist. Opportunities are rare, and large opportunities on which one can put nearly unlimited capital to work at tremendous potential returns are even more rare. Selectively shorting the most problematic mortgage-backed securities in history today amounts to just such an opportunity.”
How did Scion Capital make out?
And this describes the final outcome for Scion Capital: “Crappy mortgages worth nearly $400 billion were resetting from their teaser rates to new, higher rates. By the end of July his marks were moving rapidly in his favor—and he was reading about the genius of people like John Paulson, who had come to the trade a year after he had. The Bloomberg News service ran an article about the few people who appeared to have seen the catastrophe coming. Only one worked as a bond trader inside a big Wall Street firm: a formerly obscure asset-backed-bond trader at Deutsche Bank named Greg Lippmann. The investor most conspicuously absent from the Bloomberg News article—one who had made $100 million for himself and $725 million for his investors—sat alone in his office, in Cupertino, California. By June 30, 2008, any investor who had stuck with Scion Capital from its beginning, on November 1, 2000, had a gain, after fees and expenses, of 489.34 percent. (The gross gain of the fund had been 726 percent.) Over the same period the S&P 500 returned just a bit more than 2 percent.”
So now the market is becoming very aware of what CDO’s are and what is starting to happen. The chain reaction is beginning.
The key players on Thursday, September 18, Fed chairman Ben Bernake, Treasury secretary Hank Paulso, and a select group of about sixteen top legislators, including New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Arizona senator Harry Reid, and Connecticut senator Chris Dodd, gathers around a table to talk. Bernake is famous for saying, “The patient has had a heart attack and may die. We could have a depression if we don’t act quickly and decisively.”
What we all now know is that PANIC then ensued. President George W. Bush comes on national TV and proclaims a financial crises that boils down to risking the future of America’s core without action. And then, in a move that will, I believe, forever go down in history as Capitalistic Evil, the porpoised bank buyout. The guts of the $700 billion bank bailout bill is the same as the three page document submitted on September 21 by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, former Goldman Sacks head. You remember that document right that literally had the audacity to WAVE ALL LAWS when implemented. Paulson had asked Congress to approve a $700 billion bailout to buy mortgage-backed securities that are in danger of defaulting. Paulson also pressured the system to steer off economic failure. For example, he admitted telling Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis that the Federal Reserve could remove the bank’s board members if they backed out of their proposed merger with Merrill Lynch last December. Read that here: Paulson Admits Pressuring Bank of America.
Paulson in his recently released book defended the government which scrambled to prevent failing U.S. banks from dragging down the global economy with them. “As bad as this is, when we look back it’s not as bad as it could have been,” Paulson said. Paulson’s 500-page book, “On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System,” offers a chronological account of the rush to prevent an economic disaster as Lehman Brothers and American International Group spun toward collapse in September 2008.
And here is where it starts to sting.
Iif you look more closely at Paulson’s transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride–a very expensive ride. They paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could purchase for $62.5 billion. That means half of the public’s money was a straight-out gift to Wall Street, for which taxpayers got nothing in return.
“On October 4th, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law an unprecedented $700 billion plan to rescue the U.S. financial system, one of the largest-ever government interventions in the nation’s economy. Looking to next year, Democratic lawmakers are planning to revamp financial-system regulations, with hedge funds, private-equity funds and investment banks all likely to come in for tighter scrutiny.”
How Close Were We to Breaking?
What I meant above by democracy taken over is essentially when the American people began to learn the huge risks these banks took at our expense. American began to learn the huge bonuses that were happening at a time when the economy was on the brink of collapse. And understand, the economy has never, and probably never will again be as close as it was to a complete global financial meltdown. The risk, though, of a free-market bailout is that the money will be spent inefficiently.
So the cat is out of the bag. The finger pointing on Capitol Hill is in high gear!
So the American people are out for blood now. The news organizations finally, after spreading sure panic for months had something to focus on, who is responsible!
Factor in the failure of Leemon Brothers, American government forced to back AIG (American International Group with $175 billion), Fannie and Freddie takeover. In fact, the largest restructuring and reorganization of financial institutions then occurred. Having worked in financial recruiting for some time, I can tell you first hand thousands of financial advisors and investors jumped ship from firm to firm. To this day the large firms are still putting the pieces back together, dealing with integration pains and ultimately having to deal with rebuilding their trust.
The Domino Effect
What many individuals in the industry know is just how close the “dominoes effect” was to taking down the entire system. The domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then will cause another similar change, and so on in linear sequence. The free-market can only take so many toxic assets flowing into the market.
First it was Leemon Brothers, then AIG, then Goldman Sacks, Bear Sterns, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia, huge losses by hedge funds such as Cidadel, AQR and Saba and thousands of investors shorting assets. As you have read, the federal government took monumental unprecedented steps that was in many ways the only way to avoid a complete, global, economic disaster. They stepped in, stopped the shorting of investment institutions, propped up with tax dollars the worst hit big players, and orchestrated the mergers of all the players. Wells Fargo takes over Wachovia, Morgan Stanley merges with Smith Barney, J.P Morgan Chase buys Bear Sterns (for a huge bargain), Bank Of American takes over Merrill Lynch, UBS pleads with the Swiss Banks, Goldman Sacks is helped by 5 billion proffered stock purchase (great deal for Berkshire Hathaway) from Warren Buffet. Again, unprecedented.
And the Federal Reserve did?
One crucial element that I want to mention is the Federal Reserve and their low interest rate policy that essentially was a driving factor for the ability to give sub-prime mortgage rates. In keeping interest rates artificially below market levels for political reasons, the fed encouraged bad lending and the housing market bubble. If you are interested in reading, Dr. Hayek wrote a paper on this subject that helped him get the Nobel Prize for Economics. Dr. Thomas Sowell has a book called “Housing Boom and Bust” he goes into much more detail.
Alan Greenspan, at one point considered the most powerful man on the planet, was the first hit with what the hell happened. He said, “In recent decades, a vast risk management and pricing system has evolved combining the best insights of mathematicians and finance expert supported by major advances in computer and communications technology. The modern risk management paradigm held sway for decades. The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year. A flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works, so to speak.”
From “The Quants” to explain the above quote, “The model Greenspan referred to was the belief that financial markets and economies are self-correcting–a nation as old as Adam Smith’s mysterious “invisible hand” in which prices guide resources toward the most efficient outcome through the laws of supple and demand. Economic agents (traders, lenders, homeowners, consumers, etc) acting in their own self-interest create the best of all possible worlds, as it were-guiding them inexorable to the Truth, the efficient market machine the quants put their faith in. Government intervention, as a rule, only hinders the process. Thus Greenspan had for years advocated an aggressive policy of deregulation before these very same congressmen in speech after speech. Investment banks, hedge funds, the derivative industry- the core elements of the sprawling shadow banking system- left to their own devices, he believed, would create a more efficient and cost-effective financial system.”
Lastly, derivatives are also a complex part of the financial system that exploded in popularity over the last decade. These products allow companies to essentially buy insurance against commodity prices, currency and interest rates. I hope I proved that at some point above. However, derivatives can also be used to place speculative bets, and banks make billions of dollars from trading and taking speculative bets on derivatives, which is one of the main reasons for the crackdown. Five of the biggest U.S. financial firms, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., made more than $20 billion trading derivatives in 2009. Good article released about derivatives being removed from the market altogether, Geithner Letter Could Steer Derivatives Debate Away From Ban on Bank.
So What Have We Learned?
In some ways, it means our system works, however, in too many others, it is apparent the system needs an overhaul. Especially the corruption that lead to policies that essentially lacked proper accounting and oversight regulation.
Checks and balances is in the U.S constitution for a reason. However, because of the corruption and risk taking, the democracy, the people, were forced to take over. Enter the terrible time to be in America and a very hard time for the global (world) economies. To this day, the financial markets are still recovering. To this day, the thousands of homes taken back by the banks are being dumped on the real-estate market. To this day, law makers and politicians are working feverishly to bring those to justice, and a lot of finger pointing.
What is important to remember is that many key players walked away with millions and millions, compounding interest and ultimately making themselves forever among America’s wealthy 1%. On this exact day (of originally posting) this article, Goldman Is Charged With Subprime Fraud, is just NOW coming up. I think I have proven that this has been building for some time, and the key players have, from what I have seen and read, mostly always known. But, for better or worse, that is politics, the money game, the money culture.
Who ultimately loses the most in all this is the millions of Americans who refinanced and/or were involved in these shady sub-prime mortgage deals. They were forced out of their home, losing any wealth or net value they had achieved in their life. Millions lost over half of their 401k, pensions and thousands of companies closed their doors. It was a terrible fiasco that was orchestrated by the biggest investment vehicles for profit in the name of equal rights and racism. I hope I have illustrated how Capitalism has in many ways failed our democratic society.
Greed is good, the profit motive is good, but to a point. There is much that has to be done in Washington to prevent such actions from repeating. Paulson’s free-market bailout may seem in retrospect like the last gasp of a failed Wall Street culture.
However, I remain optimistic as ever about America’s future. This country has just gone through the greatest financial test (as history will probably write) it ever has or ever will again. America has picked itself up and is now in the process of rebuilding. The market is up over 60% since it’s low a year ago, investors are returning and slowly laws and regulations are coming into place to prevent the corruption and lack of regulation from repeating. However, countless individuals will forever distrust the industry, and although I remain optimistic, I can understand their reasons. Remember, “To sin is a human business, to justify sins is a devilish business.” And finally, because we the people have the power, I go out with this one, “Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.”
In addition, a friend recommended this YouTube.com video about America’s true form of government. Qute fascinating if you have 10 minutes to spare.
Written between April 12-16th. Research between November 2009-April 2010. Special thanks to Chuck Norton, the dozens of financial professionals who offered advice and commentary, Google, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Michael Lewis, and Scott Patterson.
***This blog post is not an offer, or solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell any security or other product. Information contained in this communication is not an official confirmation of any transaction or an official statement from Adam Faragalli. Adam Faragalli receives no compensation for this blog and has not affiliated with any authors, publications or companies cited above. Adam urges everyone to understand the risks involved with investing and can not be held responsible for any losses accrued from investment advice cited.