People are shunning debt and risk globally and it’s Wall Street’s fault

Foolish, Wall Street. Your empire collapsed and then you got bailed out. Since then you’ve resumed your dastardly ways and eschew regulation as if it were a communicable disease. You lobby against Dodd-Frank when you should be thankful it is a watered-down bill, drafted by two congressional members who benefited enormously from your largesse. You unleash your lobbyists like caged beasts upon Congress ready to gut anything and everything that harms your profits. Dare I even mention the powder keg of high speed trading?

When you first got your bailout money you held on to it, refusing to lend it out to small businesses. You refused to help homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. In essence you refused to help jump start the economy you wrecked and left it to the Federal Reserve Board; which had to entice you even further with quantitative easing, as interest rates were already at zero. Still, the economy remained limping along.

But guess what Wall Street? You’ve created a monster! Eventually bad things trickle up in contrast to the wealth of your voodoo economics that’s supposed to trickle down. If the 99 percent remains hurting long enough, it won’t be long before those in the 1 percent start to feel some of that pain too.

See, this is what you have wrought Jamie Dimon, John Thain et al.

A flight to safety on such a global scale is unprecedented since the end of World War II.

The implications are huge: Shunning debt and spending less can be good for one family’s finances. When hundreds of millions do it together, it can starve the global economy.

No one is investing. Globally the 99 percent has taken billions out of stocks. They are now putting all of their money into savings and are buying bonds. That means less commissions for you stock brokers and financial advisers.

The most shocking thing to me is that no one wants to borrow at all.

…Economists say debt hasn’t fallen in sync like that since the end of World War II. People chose to shed debt even as lenders slashed rates on loans to record lows. In normal times, that would have triggered an avalanche of borrowing.

People are also paying down their credit card debt and not using their credit cards to make new purchases.

Furthermore, spending is way down and that is what truly hurts the economy.

In France, Arnaud Reze has stopped buying coffee at cafes to save money.The Kawabatas in Japan rarely eat out. Glen Oakes in the state of Washington used to take an expensive vacation every year, such as to Disney World in Florida. He stopped five years ago.

Around the globe, in small ways and large, in expanding economies and contracting ones, consumers remain thrifty.

Wall Street and the 1 percent, I hope you realize now that it is not you who drives this economy. It is the global middle class and the working poor. Now you’ve scarred them so badly that spending may not increase for years to come. While living within ones means and being frugal are traits that I applaud; I realize that some amount of spending also creates jobs. Maybe it’s time that Ben Bernanke stops buying your toxic debt and starts doing something that will directly encourage consumer spending.

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