In case you missed this, here is an excellent summary of the economic DATA that documents how financialization is crippling our corporations, economies and lives. This interview with Gerald Epstein in Truthout presents research that goes far beyond the normal simplifications and opinions, and is well worth your time and effort to read.

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41359-financialization-has-turned-...

(Thom Hartmann, please get this guy on your show and give him a double block to discuss this stuff in detail. I know you have most all of this down cold, but it is still critical for your listeners to hear it over and over again. Note the analysis suggests a common ground for everyone from stock holders to employees, to everyone else.)

The data Dr. Epstein presents matches my personal experience working with a large sample of corporations. In work on innovation projects since the early 1980's, my colleagues an I have personally observed what Epstein reports in his cited research reports. Time and time again, to the point where it was personally sickening, we have watched some companies throw away or postpone for years major opportunities to create new customer and monetary value in their marketplace, and instead keep cranking out the same products from long recovered investments in innovation, development and tooling, or invest in short-term marketing ploys, or use financial manipulations like stock buybacks, all to push up their short-term stock value. Their management was willing to do anything to meet the quarterly projections of Wall Street speculators, including permanent destruction of their brands' reputation and their companies' history. On the one hand they would brag about the foresight and courage of their company founders who bet everything on innovation and spent years making those dreams come true, and on the other, do everything they could to avoid any substantial financial investments in real innovation.

What is really frustrating are all the lost opportunities. When some clients actually followed through on the innovation projects our teams defined, everyone won, including customers, employees, stockholders, and management.

On a much larger stage than my little world, stop for a minute and think about what Elon Musk's outrageous string of success actually means. His triumphs are a screaming indictment of US corporate managements' cowardliness when faced with real innovation. Mr. Musk seemingly has no competition because the established corporations in these areas don't have the personal stones to manage real innovation. Instead they wait around until Musk (and some companies like his) makes an innovation unstoppable, and then try to muscle in on the new market. This time around, in some cases, this innovation leech strategy may not work out so well.

The real kicker is that for Musk personally, even if late-to-enter companies take control of some of the new markets he has created, in one very real sense it won't matter. He and his design teams know they made the resulting improvements in the value of human life actually happen, and no one can take away that personal contribution to our collective well-being.

The economic research data that Gerald Epstein presents and the personal experience of countless corporate R&D employees shows backward looking accounting rationalizations for greed (stock options for top management) destroys more long term value then it creates, for EVERYONE involved. Doing exactly the opposite in the future is a common ground 99% of us should logically be excited to share.

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