The Occupy Wall St. movement has been gaining momentum and is now spreading to Europe. In London and Milan demonstrators are calling for reform and change. Banks have been targeted in Milan. Some Spanish students stormed inside a Goldman Sachs building in Milan. You can watch it occur here:
Fourteen Occupy Wall St. demonstrators were arrested today in New York.
Most Americans are intrigued by the Occupy Wall St. movement and their focus on 99% of the population needing to be represented. But if the movement becomes more aggressive and violent in the days ahead, the widespread support for the movement will abruptly end. The fact that the Occupy Wall St. demonstrations in the U.S. have been mostly peaceful thus far has helped to foster a positive perception of the movement, allowing their philosophy to resonate louder in the minds of Americans.
At the heart of the Occupy Wall St. movement movement is dissatisfaction with business corruption and inequity with the wage scales in the U.S.
Capitalism as an economic system is oriented around a established free exchange of goods based on market economics such as supply and demand. Corporations supply goods/services to consumers around the world and have a CEO top down structure that is closely aligned with creating shareholder wealth.
Corporations are subject to economic and macro trading conditions which impact their share price in the market and level of profitability that the corporation brings to its shareholders.
Many corporate boards and shareholders are content with the CEO top down hierarchy that allows CEO’s to cash in millions of company shares to run the corporation. But it is true that many CEO’s earn an excessive amount of money even when the corporation has been struggling and its share value has been declining.
Demonstrators are unhappy with this imbalance regarding executive pay in the U.S. They are also unhappy with the “Too big to fail” system that keeps big corporations funded by the government .
Demonstrators are targeting their rage against various different corporations which appears to consist mainly of banks. Their disparate and unarticulated demands appear to be difficult to achieve. A more balanced distribution of executive pay will have to be completed by board members in corporate headquarters throughout the U.S. It is not undertaken through a democratic process on the street of New York.
Corporations tend to pay attention to the public/consumers and make big changes when corporations are boycotted and their revenues decrease, resulting in a lower share price. It remains to be seen if the demonstrators plan to energize Americans to boycott corporations with an inequitable system of executive pay?
Corporations don’t have a single voice to address the angry voices from Occupy Wall St. demonstrators. And not every corporation has an excessive executive pay structure and should not be lumped together with corporations that do.
I plan to visit the demonstration site in Seattle on Sunday and ask some more questions about the movement. I do like the energy of the movement although I don’t agree with all of the views and question the sustainability of the movement in the long term especially when the weather becomes colder. However, I am glad that the movement has raised some very important questions in the conscious of America regarding how corporations/banks operate and the role of the government to regulate and set policy for the financial sector. Under President Obama the U.S. government has increased the level of financial regulation with the Dodd-Barney Act. Many CEO’s on are unhappy with the impact of the Dodd-Barney Act.
My website is still being worked on and is not yet complete. It still has a long way to go. I am working on adding a ticker but getting a real time stock ticker is very costly. I doubt I will be able to add a real time stock quotes here.