Ideally, you and I own Washington. After all, government is merely an entity that the private sector uses to further its own prosperity.  It is not intended to be some sort of competing entity.  Government is not to be run for its own benefit, but for the benefit of the people it was created to serve.  And over the last 25 years Washington has become increasingly owned by one segment of the population – the FIRE industries.  Barry Ritholtz posted this great image showing how the FIRE industry has been forced to pick up its game in trying times.  After all, when your industry nearly craters the entire US economy it costs a lot more in lobbying efforts to buy back your friends in Washington. And that’s exactly what they’ve done:

Gauging from the rebound in bank profits, banker’s bonuses, bailouts and total lack of regulation in Dodd Frank, it’s fairly clear that the FIRE industry is still winning the lobbying game.  This rather small segment of the US economy has now come to dominate Congress.  And in doing so they directly undermined the goal of our representative republic.  In the meantime, the rest of us all have to suffer through this continued environment that I like to refer to as cannibalistic capitalism.  It is an environment where we prop up and focus on one specific sector of the economy with the misguided notion that this industry is somehow the engine of economic growth.  The reality is that this industry takes much and produces little.  They are eating the very engine that drives the economy when all they should be doing is greasing the pistons.  Decades of flawed market theory have resulted in this obsession with monetary policy, the Federal Reserve and banking in general.  And now as we sit with a private sector that is deeply indebted we continue to allow these industries to eat at the corpse we now call the US economy.


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Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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  • Victor Berry

    “American People Hire High-Powered Lobbyist To Push Interests In Congress”


  • http://www.pragcap.com Cullen Roche

    At least we can still laugh at our sad reality!

  • Roger Ingalls


    That sums it up quite nicely.

  • quark

    The financial industry will not lift their grip off the throat of the Republic until every last coin is shaken from it’s body politic.

    I’m certain that through proper management of our nations welfare the President, Congress, Fed, Treasury and our illustrious corporations (the darlings of wall street), we will look back at this period in our history as the golden age of rebuilding the financial pillars of our great nation…NOT.

    Whether it is sending men and women back for their 3rd, 4th or 5th tour of duty vs initiating a draft or insisting that financial institutions own up to pilfering the nations treasury over and over again as if this countries citizens were viewed by the financial industry as nothing more than a harlot, the majority of our nations men and women will take to the streets in protest…NOT.

    The citizens of our country are simply incapable of meeting the challenges that our times require of us.

    Batten down the hatches Aunt Girdy.

  • Adam

    The really sad thing is, is that we live in a democracy. We allow this to happen, it didn’t happen to us.

  • http://www.pragcap.com Cullen Roche

    Right. It’s pathetic. But we’re all too clueless about the system to even force change….

  • alex

    It’s because very few people value societies interest over their own interests. Most of us here seem to understand that Wall Street is a wild dog that needs to be put on a leash. However, most of us (me included) would also gladly accept an offer to play casino games for Goldman Sachs, despite understanding the above.

    It comes back to the idea that nowadays everyone wants to know what their country can do for them, rather than what they can do for their country.

  • JWG

    “And now as we sit with a private sector that is deeply indebted we continue to allow these industries to eat at the corpse we now call the US economy.” A devotee of socionomics would say that, if TPC’s comment is representative of the current economic zeitgeist, deflation rather than inflation is in our future. There is life in the old corpse yet, but the current leadership of the country is so detached and/or incompetent and/or corrupt that even those who see past the current situation are beginning to lose heart. Hope and change have turned into pessimism and stagnation.

  • D

    Not to mention that the vast majority of people are hoodwinked into voting against their own interests. Most people think a deregulated wild west would allow for more competition and an equal playing field, helps to take a step back and think about the consequence when your “competition” has 100x the capital and an insider to do their bidding for them.

  • Jonnyblaze

    Interesting comment from an international money manager the other day — “I’ve been all over the world. Asia, Latin America, Africa… and you know what? The angriest, most disillusioned people in the world live right here in the United States despite the fact that relatively speaking they still have more than any of these people.”

  • quark

    This can be explain by the illusion from the outside that the US operates on a higher plain of morality…and they are right to some extent. We are not an authoritarian government within our own borders where a citizens is threatened physically (some groups would argue otherwise).

    It is no coincidence that the financial sector has hijacked our government and our economy at a time when other nations view us with envy and disbelief to why the majority of the US population is disgusted with Washington, WS and corporations.

    No one said that Washington DC was not a great PR machine.

  • quark

    that should be ‘plane’.

  • William Merrick


    Have you seen Atlas yet?

    Also, here’s a tidbit: The parasite must be symbiotic with something for long enough to propagate itself. Unfortunately for us, we’ve been lulled into allowing it to go through a process similar to that of the Turritopsis Nutricula every 2, 4 and 6 years as if this will change its fundamental nature. Unlike the cordycep fungus, however, ideas penetrate further into more complex neural systems and there is no simple cure.

  • james

    just another symptom of big government.