[Ed. Note: Welcome to the glorious finale of Enoni Mouse's unreasonably sublime four-part series. Too soon! Miss the previous three morsels? We are here to help: Part 1, Part II, and Part C.]
Try as I might, the ability of a mere series of blog posts to penetrate the data haze of the information uber-highway is minimal. Most of us would rather gape at cute images of cats juxtaposed with unrelated pop culture references than truly explore the sage advice exposed by the obvious brilliance of the Intercourse Investing Programme™. Yes, from now on, despite the enjoyment I derive from peppering each installment with the word “intercourse”, we will be using econo-speak to shorten the program name to IIP™. It’s not as cool as a sex reference but it really is a time saver for me, so I’m calling it a worthwhile trade-off.
I will persevere through this immense hardship, almost as if I was the bravest of all humans to ever have lived, to continue to bring you the Wall Street inside scoop. No matter how much you might beg for me to retire to safer ground, I refuse to abandon my pontification post until at the very least the end of this article. Not unlike one of the most prolific financial institutions on earth, Goldman Sachs, I too feel driven by a higher power to better my fellow man.
Unlike doing business with the “Vampire Squid” however, the knowledge lode provided by the IIP™ does not require that your wallet be emptied or your good judgement be abandoned. Only that your brain-cart is ready to accept shiny ingots of wisdom then rush through a labyrinth of curving tracks of confusion before exiting an ancient mine shaft of understanding to the sun drenched entrance of enlightenment … and beyond!
It really is amazing that through it all I continue to find the strength and devotion to put off responsibilities to my family, my career, and my health to bring IIP™ to life. I really can’t say enough about the job I’m doing. Ultimately, IIP™ is about realizing your own potential through feeling good about yourself, and not worrying about the tremendous sacrifices I am making. Most definitely it’s not about plummeting into a dangerous depression in which ending your own life seems like a reasonable way to escape the fact that you can’t understand the material.
If you are feeling a bit lost (we all do sometimes) remember the Secret of Wall Street Number One: nobody knows what the fuck they are talking about anyway, so don’t worry. Soon you will be rewarded with the IIP™ Secret of Wall Street Number Two — and let me tell you; it’s a doozy. This is a pretty big deal because before I wrote that line I didn’t even know there was going to be a second secret, and like you I can’t wait to find out what it is. I bet it’s going to be really insightful. I won’t skip ahead if you won’t!
The response to the clustered terminology format of Part C was overwhelmingly positive, so we are going to keep it but flip the theme coin to heads and take a ride on the opposite-of-wild side with the good guys of Wall Street. Yes, there are good guys. Kind of. The fact that their efforts are ineffectual (which is ridiculous since their budgets are, notwithstanding, huge) these guys are all about law and order and sticking it to the scapegoat with the sloppiest books and smallest lobbying budget.
So, let’s don a white hat and mount the gallant steed of justice for a trot up the high road overlooking the free market cesspool of Wall Street with the IIP™ in-no-particular-order list of the lawful:
The Good Guys
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):
- The Securities and Exchange Commission was formed in 1934 and is responsible for policing Wall Street. It is the proverbial backbone of the financial market law enforcement jellyfish.
- A rational person would surmise that since it takes the SEC months (sometimes years) to react to market events that the response would be well thought out and effective. Closer interaction with the SEC would instead leave the sensibly minded confused, and might event spark the beginning of a life long struggle with the acceptance of logical thought.
- It is well known that several high ranking officials at the SEC love to fap on the job.
- The SEC delegates most of its hard work to other regulatory agencies which makes its staggering inability to get things done even more puzzling.
- Mail a dildo to the SEC, but only after thinking about it for 9 months!
Self Regulatory Organization (SRO):
- These are private companies that participate in the creation and enforcement of industry rules. For example: Stock Exchanges are self regulatory organizations, but are also corporate entities.
- SROs don’t have a lot of power but they do handle a lot of the hard work of regulating the market, which underscores the fact that private businesses can get the job done better than government agencies. This is pretty pathetic, considering we’re all flipping the very large bill of government expenditures.
- SROs are essentially quasi-government agencies, which is awesome because being quasi-something sounds rad.
- This is as good a time as any to point out that the more acronyms you use, the more people tend to think you know what you’re talking about. I guarantee your day-trading brother in-law has no idea what an SRO is but will nod moronically when you sprinkle it into a conversation.
- The P/E of the ETF seemed incorrect so I contacted the SRO ASAP to get the current NAV! See what I mean?
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA):
- FINRA is a regulatory “authority” that oversees a veritable shit-ton of financial participants. It also happens to be an SRO.
- FINRA is not as obscenely inefficient as the SEC, probably because it is not run by the government.
- Their aim is to protect investors on “Main Street.” This is funny because most people on “Main Street’ have never heard of them.
- If completely ineffectual rated a 10, and extremely effective rated a -20, then FINRA would be a 9.
- I think it’s pretty cool that a private company granted SRO status by the government can apparently use “authority” in their name.
- I’m seriously considering updating the IIP™ name to Intercourse Investing Quasi-Authority Program (IIQAP)™.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC):
- The CFTC oversees the derivatives markets to make sure they are “fair.”
- They were created because — like most people — the folks at the SEC do not understand how derivatives work.
- The CFTC is even more obscure than FINRA, and are only in the news when they have to appear in front of congress. This occurrence immediately causes air breathing mammals to instinctively change the channel from whatever they were watching to a safer, more entertaining infomercial.
- The CFTC is headed up by Gary Gensler who worked at Goldman Sachs for 18 years. The is just one of many examples of the constantly revolving door that exists between the regulators and the regulated on Wall Street.
- If you haven’t already forgotten about the CFTC, you will soon!
Federal Reserve (Fed):
- The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the good ol’ USA.
- The primary tool the Fed uses to try to improve the economy is “monetary policy,” which is essentially different techniques to control the amount and flow of money.
- You don’t have to really understand how monetary policy works to know in your cockles that they are failing miserably at it.
- Their efforts, however, have been a huge success for big banks, as the current environment enables large financial institutions to reap the benefits of low interest rates and short term federal loans to easily load up on coinage while the value of our savings depreciate rapidly due to the increased money supply.
- The Fed knows what’s good for you; back in line!
- Putting Congress on a list of the lawful is like putting Jerry Sandusky on the PTO.
- Unfortunately, when not insider trading or having sex with interns, congressional leaders like to meddle with the markets.
- Congress is more ignorant about how financial markets work than most of the shit they fuck up, so the potential for serious damage is significant.
- Thankfully the regulations they usually throw out only result in a speed bump’s worth of additional compliance for Wall Street firms, allowing them to quickly return to their normal day-to-day scalping activities.
- Congress knows what’s good for you so keep quiet!
I think we can all agree that shortening the program name to IIP™ has greatly improved the flow of the article and saved precious time. I’m pretty happy about it and it really means a lot to me that you are enjoying it too.
In the unlikely event that you were paying attention, then you know what’s about to happen. That’s right, it’s time for the Secret of Wall Street Number Two. You’ll probably want to take a moment to insert a nylon strap into one side of your skull, wrap it around your brain, pull it out the other side of your head, then hang on tight. Why? Because the enlightenment factor of the following secret requires extraordinary mind securing efforts lest your thinker end up spurting out of all your major cranial cavities when this truth comes crashing down on your consciousness like a carnival sized sledge hammer on an over-ripe eggplant.
Secret of Wall Street Number Two:
The very cliche line “It takes money to make money” is in fact one of the central truths of Wall Street. The better your resources are, the bigger your return. The entire investing system, not unlike capitalism in general, is slanted toward the rich. Once you digest this knowledge nugget the correct course of action is obvious: get rich before investing. It really will open up a lot of loopholes doors that you will require in order to be successful.
If you remember any of the above information, or even a smattering of Part One, Part II, or Part C, then you know more than most of the people employed on Wall Street. Like a just-hatched baby falcon, still wet with sticky egg remnants, you are now ready to get kicked out of the warm safe nest and learn to fly in the several seconds before your delicate, plummeting newborn body is dashed upon the jagged rocks below. I’m sorry to say that in this case I am the menacing adult falcon looking seriously bad-ass while kicking you.
Actually I’m happy to say it because the time I am spending on these blog posts has caused me to fall behind on my iron lung payments and those things are not fucking cheap. We had a great four-part run you, and I. You laughed, you cried, and maybe, just maybe, you learned something. Considering what I know about you I seriously doubt it. Nah, just kidding. I’m sure you’ll do just fine. Now, ready … set … go broke! … I mean: go invest!