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Raymond J. Learsy Headshot

Is Wall Street Zapping America Again?

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Here we go again? Wall Street is snapping up assets of "emerging economies" according to an editorial in the International Herald Tribune, though not without their inherent risk (remember the Mexican Economic Crises of 1994, the Asian Crisis of 1997, the Argentinean Crisis of 2002) because they offer higher returns and immediate profit. According to the bank friendly International Institute of International Finance, $825 billion will flow into developing countries this year alone, a rise of 42% more than in 2009.

That being said the question that now needs be asked: are these investments in emerging markets impacting the ability of these Wall Street banks and bank holding companies to service the capital starved from the American economy? The Federal Reserve, in order to stimulate growth is making almost limitless funds available through their QE2 (quantitative easing program) to bank holding companies and their ilk at virtually no cost.

Rather than helping to finance the day-to-day and investment needs of American business, it takes neither competence nor vision to borrow at the Fed window and use near costless funds investing them in emerging market financial instruments, paying bountiful interest rates and collecting fat bonuses at the end of the year. If the investments blows up sometime down the road, who cares, the bonuses have been paid and as for the American economy, well it will have helped the real estate market in the Hamptons and provided luxurious visits to Thailand and environs. But what the funding was meant to be used for, to grow the American economy, well don't worry, Wall Street will have done well and they are part of the American Economy too.