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Why There Is (Some) Hope for Wall Street


Why There Is (Some) Hope for Wall Street

David Korten

Laurence D. Fink, founder and chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest institutional investor, recently set the financial world abuzz with a letter to the CEOs of the world’s largest public companies. He notified them that henceforth BlackRock will be holding them accountable for more than profits. They must also contribute to society.


Wall Street can’t give up greed. It is their guiding principle.

Direct Democracy


Enough hope to lift half of New York City out of poverty?


Actions speak louder than words. Will Mr. Fink actually divest from companies he deems not up to his words. Not likely. After all his business depends on making money for his clients.


From the article:

“Monopoly power separated from community control doesn’t work, whether we put that power into the hands of a few billionaires and call it capitalism, or into the hands of a few government bureaucrats and call it socialism.”

Korten may call it “socialism,” but what he describes is more properly called “state capitalism.” He seems to understand this subliminally, as indicated by this:

“2. Ownership is power, and in a full and overstressed world, the economy is most likely to serve the needs of everyone when ownership of the means of living is equitably distributed and broadly shared.”

Am I the only one confused about what exactly he’s getting at?


" I long for the day when the world’s money managers and corporate CEOs announce their intention to join with citizen activists to get money out of politics, break up concentrations of corporate power, and create economies that support all the world’s people in making a living in coproductive partnership with the ecosystems in which they live."

David you must be smoking some serious shit. How else could one possibly come up with such a fantasy.


“Serious shit” is indeed available nearly 24/7 in states that have legal pot.

As long as the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks (that controlled 25% pf US bank assets when they crashed the global economy in 2008 and now control more than 50%) continue on there march to monopoly sans meaningful regulation, there will continue to be less hope for the 99% with each passing day.

Wall Street is a conglomeration of corporations. US law requires corporations to act in the best interests of their stockholders. I learned this in high school business law class a half century ago…its no big secret, Mr. Korten. Acting in the best interest of customers, the public, the environment or anything other than stockholders will result in shareholder lawsuits against corporations that the shareholders will win. Meaningful regulations have proven to be the only way to prevent corporate behavior from steamrolling us.

Except for a few token regulations included in Dodd-Frank and CFPB, regulation of corporations, especially Wall Street financial houses has been on the wane ever since the gubmit started allowing securitization of mortgages sans meaningful regulation in 1978.


Excellent article! The “Three Simple Truths” are worth memorizing, repeating and implementing. They should be part of a Party Platform.


Reagan took credit for a rebounding economy more due to Carter energy policy. President Carter’s huge Home Weatherization Tax Credit program sufficiently stimulated the economy and demand for energy efficiency just long enough to carry on after Reagan cancelled the program in 1982. Homes standards today are more comfortable, cleaner, even healthier as toxic chemicals in construction materials were banned. The energy efficiency of common household appliances improved. Double pane windows and insulation became legal code standard. Automobiles too improved average fuel economy.

In the 1990’s, energy efficiency in the transportation field inproved, mostly mass transit, light rail, streetcar and low-floor buses. That decade saw Al Gore’s next generation automobile program’s hybrid drivetrain breakthrough and eventual all-battery EVs. Both EV types are important though plug-in hybrids have more potential to reduce fuel/energy consumption overall than all-battery EVs like the Nissan Leaf and the over-rated Tesla. The pretentious notion of self-driving cars reveals the shortcomings of car-dependency as corporate manipulation and exploitation.

Homes became more energy efficient, but most homes are still built in car-dependent suburbia. EVs today have the potential to change how we build communities to become more transit oriented, with more services, occupations, institutions and amenities closer to home and accessible without having to drive, communities less influenced by reckless corporate interests, communities closest to environmentally sustainable.


It is hard to hope about Wall Street without expletives or intimations of reprisal.


Why are you replying to me? Your comment has nothing to do with either my comment or to the article itself.


I think Korten’s problem is that he cannot conceive of a future without LLC’s.



Can we say “co-ops”? Worker shared business?


Umm… did I miss something?
The Mr. Mysterious BlackRock (robed, presumably on a marble balcony overlooking the clouds below) basically demaded receipts for the bread and circuses.
There is no hope for Wall St., nor Madison Ave., nor Pennsylvania Ave.

Nope. I didn’t miss anything.
David Korten might have, though.


My comment was a somewhat indirect way to show how economies are structured. Whether capitalist, socialist, communist or monarchic, basic economies consists of fundamental services. My own effort as shown is focused on transportation, energy, land-use and development. I thought you might get it though most people don’t see how these issues are absolutely central to corporate control.


Corporations are totalitarian, top-down command structures = the owners/bosses bark out the orders, the workers/employees obey. Corporations are the key instruments for the suffocating domination of the 1% over society - until the subordinate 99% WAKE UP.


I read the article but not the piece by Fink itself. I’m not really interested in self-policing even if Blackrock will actually follow the principles it claims. The point is that another company without those restrictions will simply win. What is needed is more regulation obviously. A lot lot more regulation. Taxes on trades to slow things down and crush micro trading where knowing something < 1 second than a competitor can make you money. No one in the right mind could conclude that is a positive feature of our economy. Likewise for shorting - I’ve yet to hear of a good explanation why anyone should make money when someone else loses money (and I can think of several major potential abuses).

Wall street needs as much of an overhaul as our medical system. They are both pathetically sub-optimal.


Considering that millions of people lost everything, and thousands more than usual committed suicide because of these pieces of crap- one would have to be " smokin’ something strange " to believe that.


Well, yes we should.


Nothing will change for the better for the majority. Capitalism ensures much more for the top and much less for the bottom to the end of mankind under penalty of death to those who oppose. The people are like pestering gnats easily swatted dead. Pure evil rules, reminds me of an article I read earlier about George W. Bush and his recent supposed religious conversion. Yeah right! The gullible will believe him.