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I’m going to hate myself….

I’m going to hate myself for saying this……..

You might want to read the article highlighted at the end of this Blog, or at least skip through it, before you read my take on things.

The article certainly appeals to the Zeitgeist of the moment and there is little in it that doesn’t enrage and inspire one to call for change.  The element I struggle with, however, is the focus of attention on all of the rich Executives.  In the simplest of terms, they are doing what most of us would do in the same position, and therein lies the problem.  Those without (myself included) find it really easy to attack the ‘withs’ and anyone else who is seen to be exploiting the system for everything they can.  We feel we are victims of this greed.

But, let’s look at a long chain which all too often leads back to those who are making the greatest noise about the current problem.  If we take it as read that the senior executives of companies are appointed by shareholders, then they are merely carrying out the instructions of the owners of the business; they may formulate policy, agree strategy and agree, to a certain extent, how much they should be paid for doing their job but they are still accountable to the shareholders.

These shareholders are mainly investment institutions, or large pension/Superfund companies acting on behalf of ‘someone else’.  They act in a moral vacuum, basing all of their investment decisions on maximising the returns for these ‘other people’.  If companies executives pay themselves obscene amounts of money, disproportionate to the level of remuneration to the average worker, then that’ a societal problem and nothing at all to do with the investment companies.  Unless the executives do things which negatively affect the company’s profitability, then anything goes.  After all, they have no mandate to do anything else other than demand greater and greater profits from the companies in which they invest.  And, if these profits are seen to grow, the executives can happily pay themselves more and more.  It is all done in the best interests of these ‘other people’.

Let’s have a look at who these ‘other people’ are then, because they seem to be the ones who, ultimately, seem to be the cause of the problem. without going into country specific details about different investment options, I’ll describe these ‘other people’ in generic terms.  They are…….anyone who has handed money over to an insurance, investment, pension or Superfund company with the aim of making more money than they handed over.  it’s that simple.  All of these billions of US$, AU$, GB£, Euros, Yen etc that individuals invest through institutions without any constraints on what their money is used for are all as guilty and the investment institutions and, at the end of the day, are all agreeing with and supporting the activities of the executives running companies.

So, it seems as though the majority of those hard working people who feel enraged and exploited by the big buck executives are the ones who have only themselves to blame.  they gave their money to, for example, an Australian Superfund to maximise returns on the money handed over – NO QUESTIONS ASKED.  The investment institutions accept the investment mandate and the lack of any ethical, social or environmental restrictions on how profits are made is the fault of those handing over the money and not the fault of the institutions.

Dear Reader, you have no idea how much it pains me to say all of this.  Like you, I am outraged by the appalling excesses that seem to be so rife in the corporate world and I too want to see real change.  What I struggle with, though, is the lack of responsibility that individuals seem to want to take for what is done with their money,  Being generous, this lack of responsibility is because most people really don’t know what is being done with their money.  But is that a genuine excuse?  To some extent I think it is reasonable to claim ignorance because financial products and the financial system can be complicated.  But as long as these individuals are comfortable with their ignorance and seek to do nothing about it, the greater will be the iniquities in society and the more that the majority will continue to suffer.

What makes the current position worse is that more and more people are beginning to call for action to be taken against the banks, financial institutions and ‘fat cats’.  But these institutions and organisations are owned by most of those calling for change.  Such collective schizophrenia needs to be tackled as quickly as possible and if there were a pill to pop then I’d be the first to be prescribing it (assuming it hasn’t been tested on animals first).  there is no overnight fix, however, so the journey towards a more equitable society will be long and difficult; for individuals who seek the change as well as for the ‘fat cats’ who are the target of change.  Until the investor masses take responsibility for their money then change just isn’t going to happen and all of the protesting and indignant clamouring will change very little.

Once again, as I have said many times in my Blog, it is YOUR money, so it is up to YOU to take responsibility for it.  By all means hand it to an investment institution to invest it on your behalf, but ONLY give it to an investment institution which offers to invest your money ethically.  If you don’t, then they won’t and if they won’t you are not going to get the change that you are demanding.

 

This Blog is based on an article to be found at:

http://www.linkedin.com/news?viewArticle=&articleID=5575269604126621701&gid=2303847&type=member&item=96479227&articleURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justmeans.com%2FFat-Cats-versus-Alley-Cats-Why-Occupy-Movement-is-Right%2F52041.html&urlhash=J9d1&goback=.gde_2303847_member_96479227


One response to “I’m going to hate myself….”

  1. nice one says:

    Thanks a lot…

    Hello, I really like this article, it was really informative. I’ll be looking forward for your next post….

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