Link: Forbes asks “How did capitalism get into this mess?”

The question is in the middle of an article reviewing a new business book that points out that managing a business to “maximize” shareholder value is, according both to the book’s author as well as the Forbes’ reviewer, “the dumbest idea in the world.”

I have long maintained that one key to the massive profits of the nineties and the first decade of the twenty-first century was the investment bubble created by the baby boomers after the Reagan era’s creation of IRAs. With that, a whole lot of money started flowing into the stock market, driving up prices. Of course, the only people who really profited from this were market professionals, bankers, and top executives. Employees saw little in their paychecks and only those investors who cashed out before the various crashes, and there is one more big one to come, made it rich.

But those who did were very rich indeed, and the finance and investment industry, which thanks to banking and insurance industry deregulation are pretty much all the same thing now, is going to make sure that that money won’t slip through their fingers again.

What I want to know is: what about piddling little investors like me who would like to invest in companies who make things and earn a return on our investment the old-fashioned way?

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