The Financial Times did a study that showed that insider trading is common on Wall Street. This should be no surprise, given that Wall Street is populated by greedy, dishonest people. I was already mad with Wall Street because of its disregard for the war in Iraq. The Dow Jones index went through the roof as more and more Americans and Iraqis died in the war. Wall Street didn’t care although to hear George Bush tell it, we went to war for Wall Street, because of the 9/11 attacks, despite the fact that smarter people have found no connection between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. The attacks on the World Trade center were directed at the US financial district. Since we can’t find Osama bin Laden, we don’t know exactly why, but part of the the reason was probably to make a high visibility attack that would get the world’s attention, and part of it was probably because of the large role played by Jews in America’s financial district.
In any case, the Financial Times study tends to reinforce the negative impression of Wall Street. The violent fluctuations currently going on in the market no doubt allow savvy traders, maybe not doing anything illegal, but just using their intimate knowledge of how trades are made these days by computer programs, to make money when the market goes up or down. Add to this the fact that many staffers, high and low, in banks and brokerages are aware of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, and can probably do some small trades using their inside knowledge that will not show up on the SEC’s radar screen, but may show up on the overall statistical study done by the Financial Times.