The Phaserl


Barron’s Bill Alpert: There’s a Wealth Transfer from Wall Street to the Little Guy

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street on Parade:

There are theories floating around Wall Street that Barron’s Senior Editor and award-winning investigative reporter with a law degree from Columbia, Bill Alpert, has been kidnapped by evil forces on Wall Street and replaced with a look-alike. How else to explain this wacky story under his byline on February 28.

Alpert’s article was quickly discredited by Eric Hunsader of Nanex in an article titled “Robber Barrons.” (We don’t think Hunsader meant to say “Barons” either.) Themis Trading, whose owners literally wrote the book on Broken Markets, weighed in with a detailed debunking.

Alpert’s article starts out with this subhead: “Small investors actually get good prices from brokers and market makers.” It then moves to debunk the Michael Lewis book Flash Boys, which is effectively debunking 60 Minutes as well, since it vetted and aired the same material. Alpert writes:

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3 comments to Barron’s Bill Alpert: There’s a Wealth Transfer from Wall Street to the Little Guy

  • dan

    that must be the ‘little guy’ who has the left ‘boot’ of tyranny and the ‘right’ boot of the banksters on his or her neck…by the way Bill….you can kiss my ass……wtf

    • Ed_B

      There is a story about a new college graduate many years ago who wanted to work on Wall Street. He was shown the brokerage, taken out to a fabulous lunch, and then, since it was a beautiful June day, given a tour of the local yacht club. There, he was shown the yachts owned by the rich and famous, including the top brokers at that very brokerage. He famously asked, “But where are all the client’s yachts?”. Where are they, indeed? Brokerages are called that for a reason and it is because their mission seems to be to make themselves richer and their clients broker than they were before they met. Stringing them along requires some skill, to be sure, otherwise the clients will simply flee and take their money with them.

      The really fun part of all this is that investing is not rocket science. Anyone of average or above intelligence can do it successfully. Yes, it requires some time reading and learning the terms and how investing is done but this is not the barrier to entry that some claim it is. With buying and selling of financial assets so cheap and easy these days, cost is also not the barrier to entry that it once was. Back in the old days, brokers thought nothing of charging clients hundreds of dollars to make trades that can now be made for $10 or less each.

      The fact of the matter is that no one cares more about us or our money than we do, so we are the ones who should be in charge of our money and not someone else who merely sees it as temporarily ours in the short term and theirs in the longer term. Like many bankers, brokers too have some VERY sticky fingers and questionable ethics. Yes, there are some good ones out there but finding them can be a very difficult chore.

  • Johan

    Great article. I would agree that a big black swan event is imminent within the next month or two

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