The Stock Market Is Broken as a Bellwether; Here’s How to Fix It


I sat behind a trading terminal at two Wall Street firms from 1986 to 2006. I can assure you that if the President of the United States was refusing to accept the outcome of a presidential election and urging a coup d’é·tat by his civilian militia, the stock market would have sold off by double digits. This era’s stock market has yawned at the spectacle.

I can further assure you that if an actual, violent coup d’état did occur inside the halls of Congress and played out in real time on every television network and cable news program in the country and around the world, there would have been a crash in the stock market. (I was sitting behind my trading terminal on October 19, 1987 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed 22 percent by the end of the trading day and the country was peaceful.)

The stock market of that prior era would not have greeted 20,000 National Guard troops descending on the nation’s Capitol and television pictures of hundreds of those troops guarding the halls of Congress with a meaningless loss of 8 points — a tiny fraction of one percent.

Market Close on January 13, 2021

Clearly, today’s stock market is broken. And that’s a big problem for this country and the world because the U.S. stock market is supposed to be an early indicator of when things are going well and when things are going badly. When the U.S. stock market is sending a signal to the world that bloody coups of government are nothing to fret over, we’ve entered a dangerous dimension where fascist rule is deemed a good thing.

The stock market of my day reflected the composite wisdom of all of its participants. Today’s stock market appears to reflect the composite wisdom of only its fascist-inclined participants.

So how do we fix our broken stock market so that it is once again a barometer to lead the country in the right direction? We listen to our whistleblowers who love their country so much that they will put their careers on the line to blow the whistle on all that is wrong on Wall Street.

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Ms. Martens is a former Wall Street veteran with a background in journalism.

Featured image is from Shutterstock

Articles by: Pam Martens

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