2011 definitely seems a year of uprisings and protests against the corrupt.
What started in the Middle East (protests against the autocratic governments), spread to India (protest against the corrupt government). Now, similar protests are seen in the (disputed) financial capital of the world, New York.
Thousands have gathered there to protest against the corrupt financial companies of Wall Street. This protest started on 17th September, and has been termed as ‘Occupy Wall Street’.
But why are people occupying Wall Street?
Why has the occupation sent out sparks across America, within days, inspiring hundreds of people to send pizzas, money, equipment and, now, to start their own mini-movements called Occupy Chicago, Occupy Florida, or Occupy LA?
There are obvious reasons.
The history of financial markets is replete with corruption, scams, and massive wealth destruction. Last time it happened in 2008.
So why are we seeing an uprising now?
The aim of the demonstration is to protest against corporate greed and social inequality, including opposing corporate influence in US politics, and the influence of money and corporations on democracy.
David Graeber, an American anthropologist, political activist and author writes in The Guardian, “We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt.”
What Graeber is simply telling us is that most people occupying the Wall Street are the ones who did exactly what they were told they should: studied, got into college, and are now not just being punished for it, but humiliated – faced with a life without job, income, and respect.
So it is really interesting to see that they would like to have a word with the financial magnates who stole their future.
Anyways, this situation isn’t unique to the US alone. The youth in Europe have also come face to face with a huge social failure, and they aren’t taking it silently anymore.
It’s sad to see the very people, whose energies a healthy society should be utilizing to improve life for everyone, trying to bring the whole system down.
But do they have any other way to show their resentment?
Think about a similar situation arising in India. I shudder to think that!
This is simply given the sheer size of Indians who are disappointed with the way the country’s political, financial, and corporate system works.
Take for example the number of corporate and stock market scams that have hurt Indian investors’ wealth over the past few years.
What has come out clearly of these scams is that there is a nexus between politicians and corporate chiefs who can go to any extent to get business for their companies.
The 2G telecom scam and the countless frauds in the construction and real estate sectors are a case in point.
Not to mention the Satyam scam that wiped out billions from investors’ wealth and also the hopes of thousands of employees working with that company.
Those of you, who have been investing for years now, must also remember the UTI scam and the ones perpetrated by Ketan Parikh and Harshad Mehta.
If that is not all, financial market scams of different magnitudes occur every day:
- Financial advisors scamming investors with wrong investment products.
- Business channel experts scamming viewers with views they themselves don’t believe in.
- Fund managers scamming investors with irrelevant funds just to grow the size of their assets under management.
- Stock market analysts scamming investors with ‘multibagger stock ideas’ they don’t themselves buy into.
But who protests against these scams? And how does one protest?
I wish that, like there is an ‘Occupy Wall Street’ demonstration going on in the US, there shouldn’t be an ‘Occupy Dalal Street’ here, at least not in the manner it’s happening there.
However, I definitely wish that there be a different sort of protest here – where investors educate themselves to make sensible and independent investing decisions so that they don’t fall for more such scams in the future, and force the greedy stock market experts out of business.
This is a huge task, but what do you say?
Would you like to join an ‘Occupy Dalal Street’ movement in India by educating yourself to make sensible, independent investing decisions and rendering the insensitive and greedy stock market experts out of business?
Would you like to raise your voice against what is a broken system, a system that serves the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the rest?
Let me know in the comments section below, or post your view on our Facebook page.