German takeover of NY Stock Exchange: Where’s Col. Hogan when we need him?

Posted on February 12, 2011


New York: The Big Apple.  Home of the United Nations – most of which are represented by cab drivers. Home of those icky, yucky, ptooieee Yankees.  Financial capital of the world … NOT!

The board of NYSE Euronext is expected to meet on Sunday to discuss a planned takeover by Deutsche Boerse and a deal announcement is likely to come by Tuesday, according to news reports. Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext said on Wednesday they were in advanced talks to merge, just hours after London Stock Exchange unveiled a bid for Canadian market operator TMX Group Inc. Other exchanges said they were considering striking their own deals or looking to take advantage of the distraction, in early signs of ripples through the world’s capital markets.

This prospective deal serves as just one more poke-in-the-eye reminder to Americans that our prosperity at home – thanks to decades of global bedroom deals by consecutive presidential administrations, and the literal corporate takeover of Washington, DC – increasingly depends on a global web of business ties. And it’s the first step in the complete dismantling of the idea that New York is the preeminent capital of world finance. And like the domino effect it is, this will further confirm in the minds of world political and financial leaders the stultifying understanding that America is an economic super power in decline.

We were on top of the world … once. But after the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama assault on America’s fiscal superiority and independence for the sake of American corporate profit, in just three short decades we have descended from the worlds largest creditor to the world’s largest debtor.  That’s right. In 1980, America was owed more money than any other nation in the world, and more than most non-super-power nations combined.  In 2011, more than 22 percent of America is owned by China, and more than 14 percent is owned by Saudi Arabia. So, guess what taxpayers: The vast majority of all that money you pay in, day after day, year after year?  Not only is it not being used to pay for America’s upkeep, it’s being paid to China and Saudi Arabia – and that’s just the INTEREST on the principal debt!

And now Germany is going to own the New York Stock Exchange.

One of the mergers would create the world’s largest exchange company in Deutsche Boerse-NYSE Euronext, and could put pressure on others to keep pace as the companies shift into more profitable derivatives businesses to stave off competition from upstart stock-trading venues.

And isn’t that what this world needs?  MORE gluttonous corporate financial monoliths to perpetuate the “too big to fail” scenario.  Why should corporate executives worry about bottom lines when the entire structure of business is being converted to the sole premise of “government bailout”?  If you’re a CEO and your stupidity, greed and avarice drives your company into the ground, don’t sweat it! Just make the taxpayers bail you out, and then give yourself a grotesquely fat and undeserved eight-figure bonus for doing it.

Jeffrey Sprecher, ICE’s chief executive, said his rivals are attempting to “muscle their way in or acquire their way into the derivatives space to reinforce the value of that business.”

You remember derivatives, don’t you?  Derivatives are what Wall Streeters called all those junk bonds and worthless crapola mortgages when they bundled them all together and told investors they were “hot new investment opportunities.”  And then they pocketed trainloads of profit while the investors suddenly felt a draft. And now Wall Street and their global counterparts are trying to REVIVE THE DERIVATIVES MARKET. And they’re not even going to offer us a cigarette afterward.

“It bodes very, very well for my company to have a lot of these people distracted by with these complicated mergers,” Sprecher said. “These cross-border mergers are going to involve a lot of regulation and regulatory intervention to get these deals completed. We feel very opportunistic right now that we’re in an excellent position to take advantage of their downturn.”

Like buzzards circling a carcass. (Hint: We’re the carcass.)

Merging the iconic New York Stock Exchange with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse will force European companies to switch to using U.S. accounting rules which have superior disclosures, New York Mayor (and billionare financier) Michael Bloomberg said on Friday.

U.S. accounting rules?!?!? Are you kidding me? Aren’t U.S. accounting rules the same rules that allowed Halliburton to ship $27 BILLION TAX DOLLARS IN CASH to Baghdad in 2003, only to have the money literally vanish from Halliburton’s loading docks and still never endure an investigation as to where the money went?  Aren’t U.S. accounting rules what the Pentagon uses?  Aren’t U.S. accounting rules what caused you to know who Bernie Madoff is? Applying U.S. accounting rules to global finance is like trying to put out a camp fire by throwing a bucket of gasoline on it.

I weep for America. I weep for the average taxpayer who’s about to be bent over again and told to smile by corporate-owned Washington.

But, mostly, I weep for what used to be my 401k.