US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC :
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News ::
Boston Harbor Hotel - Abby Joseph Cohen. My opinion on what went on
08 Jun 2001
Well, I attended a talk by Abby Joseph Cohen at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Complete break with reality regarding what is happening to working families under the new economy.
Well, here we go again. By flagrant use of nepotism and nefarious means, I managed to get into an invite only event held last night at the Boston Harbor Hotel, where famed investment guru Abby Joseph Cohen gave a speech about the economy and investing. Naturally, the experience of working folks didn't make much of an appearance in an event where 99.5% of the attendees were wearing high priced suits and being served with sushi appetizers, shrimp, and other kinds of posh food whose names I have trouble pronouncing, but which I had no trouble forcing down my throat.

According to Abby, the future looks grand for corporate investors in the US. In the wake of the recent crash of the Nasdaq tech stock market, there are still a multitude of opportunities for the smart investor. While Japan and Europe are apparently gazing into what amounts to a pit of despair, America's future looks rosy. The fact that the average American has lost ground in real wages over the past 20 or 30 years doesn't seem to faze the average corporate investor.

Cohen's speech focused on opportunities that she sees in what has been called the 'new new economy'. Energy stocks are apparently interesting, and small cap and tech stocks present opportunities. Cohen refused to comment on the Nasdaq, whose future she reckons still cannot be accurately judged.

What does this have to do with working folks, you ask? Apparently, f*** all! As we folks who inhabit the real world know all too well, most working folks can't afford to spend their money on investments. After paying the bills, if they have money left over at the end of the week to spend on the kids, it's been a good week. Among the poorest 50% of the population, investment in stocks, bonds and mutual funds is little more than a pipe dream. The one thing in Cohen's speech that did impinge on the working person was the fact that many large businesses like Motorola are using foreign labor. This, apparently, is causing some consternation on Wall Street, since because of it, it becomes harder to judge a multinational corporation's real worth. The fact that this kind of globalization is causing millions of skilled American workers to be 'Downsized' in favor of foreign workers who can be persuaded to work for mere cents per day is apparently less worrisome to the corporate investor. In the race to the bottom to find the workers who are willing to accept the lowest wages, US workers don't exactly play a big role, and it is apparently completely unreasonable to expect corporations like Motorola to pay a living wage.

Another thing conspicuously absent from last night's speech was the fact that world oil production is reaching its peak between 2000 and 2010. No one knows the exact time the world will begin to run out of cheap oil, but it's coming soon. Cohen apparently doesn't appreciate this (or if she does, she wasn't telling the Boston cognoscente last night), and she rates the current energy crisis as a short term thing. She may be correct in this, but she avoids the longer term problem that the imminent peak of oil production brings up.

All in all, I had a good time. Everyone around me seemed well dressed and happy. I was conspicuous in my jeans and tee shirt, but after a few free beers (open bar - tee hee), I no longer cared. However many beers I had though, and I had a fair few, I still had no illusions about the fact that I was mingling with some of the folks who are (in my opinion) perpetuating the inequalities of modern life. The sad thing is, they don't seem to know or care. Even sadder, I'm not sure how to bridge that gap and make them aware that society needs them to work towards a more equitable world, rather than sacrificing societal equity to the god of financial success.
Add a quick comment
Your name Your email


Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.