Financial Innovation And The Populist Conservative Agenda
Recent events such as ‘To The Moon’ options trading of Gamestop, the rise of NFTs, and the embroilment of associated public figures such as Dave Portnoy against corporate finance, has drawn obvious parallels to the populist conservative agenda. However, no politicians, other than a few tweets in support of the Gamestop traders and a congressional hearing, have offered substantive policy to ensure that financial innovation maintains itself as a key plank of the future populist conservative agenda.
Politically, there are key reasons why financial innovation and capitalism is an obvious plank of the populist conservative movement going into ’24 and beyond. First, startup communities of any kind are not pre-aligned with corporate interests. At one-point, large companies of today, such as Bezos’ Amazon or Google, were against the corporate or political establishment when they first opened-their-doors. Google, for example, disrupted the news media industry to such an extent that many local publishers were lobbying United States Congress for regulations against the types of advertising exchange distribution that Google so employs as core to their advertisement offerings.
In the Gamestop debacle, the financial establishment halted trading, unfairly, to prevent large hedge funds from losing out on their options positions. Portnoy rightly argued against this practice claiming abuses from the trading app Robinhood, which was ultimately in service to the hedge fund financial establishment through a web of existing business relationships.
Many traders felt aggrieved by the financial elitism that underscored this pivotal moment, and rightfully so. For too long, hedge funders have been able to take advantage of regulations and other elitist strategies to preserve and build their wealth. The licensure requirements for stock brokerage accounts are exceptionally steered toward elite financial interests on the coasts, not the everyday trader. The Gamestop issue was representative of this unfair landscape, as the businesses that everyday traders used, such as Robinhood, suspended traders the moment that the hedge funders were at risk of losing some of their large options bets. The everyday traders used the exact market smarts and logic used by the hedge funders and won fair-and-square, but the hedge funders pulled a dirty trick that effectively halted trading against their own interests and stemmed their losses. This is an egregious overreach from Wall St. financial executives directly into the pockets of everyday American traders.
Will the Biden Administration ever investigate this criminality? Of course not, because Biden is himself in the pockets of the hedge funds and Wall St.
Many people believe that Wall St. has some ‘long-reach’ into the political elites across the world, and while it is true that they may make disproportionately higher campaign contributions writ-large to politicians on both sides of the aisle, they have little power, authority, or influence outside of their donations. They certainly do not have any sort of ideological power in America, which was demonstrated by the rise of the Tea-Party political movement on the Right side of the aisle and the ‘Occupy’ movement on the Left side.
The populist conservative agenda, now more than ever, must work to strip Wall St. of such criminal power, and thankfully, men and women like David Portnoy are leading the charge. Portnoy decried the unfairness in real-time, risking his reputation and even part of his company to take to the airwaves calling out the unfairness of a criminal hedge funder, and his family, Steven Cohen, and CEO of Robin Hood Vlad Tenev.
Where is the broader populist conservative support by means of a political agenda that constrains this corrupt and criminal financial power over everyday stock traders and Americans? The populist conservative movement is still largely divorced from financial and corporate interests, which is evident over the last three or four months as Corporate America began to divest from the campaign accounts of many elected populists. The populist conservative movement does not need Corporate America anyway.
Populists should be looking at broad and wholesale financial reform that includes auditing and ending the Federal Reserve system and fractional reserve banking, investigating and closing insolvent world institutions that are leading to the neo-colonialism and debt-slavery of many nations, including many African nations, and move quickly to end the licensure restrictions that prevent everyday Americans from opening competitor stock brokerages in competition with Wall St. financial interests.
A renewed agenda that fights financial overreach and Wall St. is desperately needed, especially after the debt tsunami unleashed during the coronavirus. Where was the populist conservative movement in Congress to fight the endless stimulus and helicopter drops of money that will certainly lead to significant and potentially catastrophic consumer price inflation? It’s easy, they failed to stand strong on the founding principles of this century’s Tea Party movement and DUMP the corrupt ‘Boston Harbor’ interests of Wall St.’s excess, greed, and structural unfairness. More so, the populist conservative movement has the ability to also prosecute much needed reforms across the global economic and political systems, end the ‘do-nothing’ United Nations system that has no teeth and which lets many States, even some allied with Western-backed Nations, to commit endless acts of state-sponsored terrorism. There has never been a more important time for the populist conservative movement to regroup and enact a bold reform agenda for the economic and financial systems.
William E. Scholz is a conservative from Pennsylvania. His first book, published at the height of pandemic bail-outs, argues for a renovation to the world financial order, and is currently available via his publishing company Dignified Publishing. You can follow him on Twitter @wstweetsnews.
Photo by Mike Mozart at Flickr.
Content syndicated from TheBlueStateConservative.com with permission.