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ethics

A Scathing Indictment of Society, Our Financial Culture and Our Government

My only comment is to read this piece and then re-read it. It conveys properly what much of our society has become.

BCM HAS CEASED OPERATIONS 

POSTED BY ANN BARNHARDT – NOVEMBER 17, AD 2011 10:27 AM MST

Dear Clients, Industry Colleagues and Friends of Barnhardt Capital Management,It is with regret and unflinching moral certainty that I announce that Barnhardt Capital Management has ceased operations. After six years of operating as an independent introducing brokerage, and eight years of employment as a broker before that, I found myself, this morning, for the first time since I was 20 years old, watching the futures and options markets open not as a participant, but as a mere spectator.The reason for my decision to pull the plug was excruciatingly simple: I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets – because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse. Given this sad reality, I could not in good conscience take one more step as a commodity broker, soliciting trades that I knew were unsafe or holding funds that I knew to be in jeopardy.

The futures markets are very highly-leveraged and thus require an exceptionally firm base upon which to function. That base was the sacrosanct segregation of customer funds from

Some Rambling Re Investing

This started out to be an article in the investing series, but began to wander into other areas. While I am overdue for the investment article and hope to have it out soon,  I thought I would publish these ramblings.

There will be a major article out mid-week on QE2. It will be the basis of my current thinking on where the economy is going. Investors should not miss this.

I have been an investor for decades. When I started, investing was simpler in the sense that there were fewer choices for individual investors. Stocks, bonds and real estate were the primary ones. Brokers had to be involved and outrageous fees were charged compared to today. Now trading costs are almost zero, information is instantly accessible and it is possible to trade almost any market at any time of day from anywhere.

Government played a smaller role in the economy and in markets. The Keynesian notion that government was necessary to offset slumps and equilibrate the economy had not yet taken hold. Once it did, politicians exaggerated its claims and abused the tool. Spending, under the guise of economic necessity, became a preferred vote-buying vehicle. Earmarks quickly became a staple of political behavior.

Honesty and integrity used to characterize relationships between people. Business deals were often done with

Power Politics

A discussion of Washington politics and ethics by Thomas Sowell that is troubling to anyone that believes in “The One” or government as an impartial,… 

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