Wall Street Has Always Been Corrupt Or About To Be Corrupted

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Wall Street Has Always Been Corrupt Or About To Be Corrupted

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”? Upton Sinclair – I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

“The U.S. financial markets had always been either corrupt or about to be corrupted.” -

Michael Lewis, Flash Boys

I finished reading Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys take-down of Wall Street banks, hedge funds, government regulators and high frequency traders last week when I had spare time created by a weeklong denial of service attack on my website. It appears to me technology is being utilized more frequently as a mechanism for malevolence rather than a mechanism for good. The smartest guys in the room are figuring out ways to steal you blind in the financial markets, pilfer your personal information, spy on your electronic communications, and censor your right to free speech by taking away your ability to communicate freely on the internet. After reading Lewis’ maddening tome and experiencing the frustration of an attack that reached 50 million hits per day on my website, I’m reminded of two quotes from the brilliant dystopian visionary Aldous Huxley.

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” ? Aldous Huxley – Ends and Means

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.” Aldous Huxley

Technology has been pushed on the masses like a drug by the mega-corporation and mega-media dealers. Just walk down any city street and observe the technologically entranced zombies shuffling along the sidewalks staring blankly at a tiny screen, tapping away on an itsy bitsy keypad as if whatever they are conveying is of vital importance to the future of mankind. # Give me a break. God forbid if we had to go out in public without our iGadget attached to an appendage. We might actually have to use our brain to think. We might be able to look someone in the eye and smile. We might be able to say hello to a stranger. We might have to act like a human being.

Being connected electronically 24 hours per day is not progress. The technology being peddled to the masses by mega-corporations is designed to keep people amused, apathetic, distracted and uninterested in thinking critically. Our society has devolved into a technologically narcissistic, ego driven, submissive, trivial culture, asphyxiating in a sea of irrelevance and driven by greed and need to fulfill our every desire, rather than a technologically proficient, selfless, humble, critical thinking, civil minded society of self-reliant human beings who take responsibility for their own lives and refuse to saddle future generations with the financial consequences of living beyond their means. Our willful ignorance, misuse of technology, and inability to control our impulses and desires will be the ruin of our perverted civilization.

If the masses were capable of critical thinking and questioned the existing paradigm, they would conclude a small cadre of evil men has colluded to hijack the financial, political, and social systems in order to syphon off the nation’s wealth, while controlling the serfs through propaganda and luring them into debt servitude. Those who haven’t been brainwashed by media propaganda or amused to death by technology, are kept in check by thousands of laws, statutes, and regulations, enforced by millions of government bureaucrats and police state thugs. Technology is used by the state as a means of control, surveillance, censorship, and bilking the populace of their wealth. And if you don’t like it, the IRS, DHS, FBI, CIA, BLM, HHS, or some other three letter government agency will harass, arrest, fine, or kill you for not “cooperating”. And while the government is keeping you under their thumb, Wall Street shysters are stealing you blind.

The Truth Shall Make You Mad

“As soon as you realize that you are not able to execute your orders because someone else is able to identify what you are trying to do and race ahead of you to the other exchanges, it’s over. It really just pissed me off that people set out this way to make money from everyone else’s retirement account. I knew who was being screwed, people like my mom and pop, and I became hell-bent on figuring out who was doing the screwing.” – John Schwall – Flash Boys

As I continued reading Flash Boys I got progressively madder as more truth was revealed about the inner workings of Wall Street, the wasting of human intelligence on technological schemes to defraud the public, and the utter level of corruptness in the government agencies supposed to protect the public from the vultures in the financial industry feasting on the carcasses of dupes who still believe the “stocks for the long run” drivel regurgitated incessantly by the bimbos and slime balls on CNBC. The concepts of right and wrong, moral and immoral, honesty and dishonesty, and truth and lies are all purposefully blurred in shades of grey by those in power, in a blatant attempt to maintain and expand their vast wealth, immense power and complete governing control.

Michael Lewis focuses on our warped, rigged financial system, but his insights apply across the board to our entire society. Our economic, financial, political, regulatory, and judicial systems are all rigged. This serves the interests of the Deep State, Invisible Government, Oligarchs, Owners, or whatever other term you choose to describe the obscenely wealthy minority controlling this country. The existing establishment will never willingly change the system because it serves their myopic gluttonous interests.

“The deep problem with the system was a kind of moral inertia. So long as it served the narrow self-interests of everyone inside it, no one on the inside would ever seek to change it, no matter how corrupt or sinister it became.” Michael Lewis – Flash Boys

Flash Boys is the fourth Michael Lewis book I’ve read. I had previously read Liar’s Poker, The Big Short, and Boomerang. He is a masterful storyteller. He has the ability to humanize complicated financial concepts and cut through the purposeful complexity built into the financial system to reveal the corruption, criminality and moral degradation of Wall Street bankers and Washington DC politicians. He slices through all the spin, misinformation, and mistruths flogged by Wall Street and their paid-off media mouthpieces to reveal everyone on Wall Street to be in on the action when it comes to fleecing their customers (muppets). The stench emanating from the bowels of Wall Street banks, hedge funds, and high frequency trading bucket shops hangs like toxic smog over our bloated fetid crony capitalist corpse of a country. This cast of despicable felonious characters, scalps investors day after day, with the insiders pretending all is well and the man on the street is being protected.

“The reason is that everyone is a bad actor. There’s an ecosystem that has risen up around a broken pipe on Wall Street. You have high-frequency traders who are scalping the market. They pay exchanges for the tools they need to scalp investors; the exchanges pay banks to essentially mishandle the stock orders so high-frequency traders can maximize the take. It’s a system designed to extract taxes from investors.” – Michael Lewis -Wired

The average person believes the stock market is run on free market principles, with willing buyers and sellers paying and receiving the most efficient price with regards to their transactions. The American people have put their trust in gargantuan bureaucratic government agencies, funded with their tax dollars, to protect their interests and fight for their rights in the financial marketplace. They innocently believe a private bank – The Federal Reserve – owned and controlled by the Too Big To Trust Wall Street Mega-Banks, is actually enforcing regulations and looking out for the best interest of the small investor. They evidently haven’t been paying attention for the last fourteen years, as the Federal Reserve has purposefully created bubble after bubble with ridiculously low interest rates, money printing on an epic scale, encouraging complete deregulation of banks, inciting speculation, and ignoring criminal behavior by their Wall Street owners.

After reading Lewis’ exposes about these Wall Street scumbags, you realize Scorsese’s seemingly over the top portrayal of these people in Wolves of Wall Street is accurate. Nothing has changed since Lewis worked at Salomon Brothers in the 1980’s. The people inhabiting that culture are unscrupulous, greedy, obtuse, ignorant, and intent upon preying on the weaknesses of their “clients”, who they hold in contempt. They are the wolves and you are sheep. The comforting picture of a stock broker representing your interests on a small commission basis has been replaced by stock exchanges colluding with Wall Street banks, hedge funds and high frequency traders to fleece mom and pop out of hundreds of billions on an annual basis using their super-fast computers located within the stock exchanges. The people who know the truth have no interest in drawing the new picture because their massive paychecks depend upon not drawing the picture.

You can tell how accurate a portrayal is by the reaction of those being portrayed. Flash Boys and the subsequent interview of Lewis by 60 Minutes resulted in a broad based assault by Wall Street bankers, HFT dirt bags, corrupt stock exchange CEOs, SEC lackeys, Federal Reserve Chairwomen, bought off politicians, faux financial journalists, sellouts like Buffett, and of course the mouthpieces of Wall Street on CNBC. The oligarchs benefitting immensely from the HFT scams, Dark Pool schemes, and Stock Exchange pay to play swindles, attempted to ambush the good guys (Brad Katsuyama and Michael Lewis) on CNBC, the captured media pawn of the Wall Street ruling elite.

CNBC stacked the deck against the good guys with the President of the BATS exchange, William O’Brien, given the task of shouting the loudest in an attempt to discredit the factual assertions made in the book. The BATS exchange was founded by high frequency traders and designed to foster the predatory schemes of high frequency trading firms who paid the exchange for the privilege of swindling investors. He went berserk on-air, accusing Brad Katsuyama of lying and denying that his firm purposefully allowed high frequency traders to front run slower orders from regular investors. I guess he thought rage, fury, screaming and false accusations would convince the hoi polloi of his innocence. He was wrong. The traders on the NYSE and in trading firms across Wall Street stopped trading to watch the contest on their screens. They would cheer every time Brad Katsuyama calmly responded with truth based facts.

Michael Lewis described the encounter shortly thereafter in an interview:

“The substantial shocker from this encounter is that Katsuyama tried to get O’Brien to admit that the BATS Exchange uses one very slow data feed to give investors the prices in the market, while selling, for vast sums of money, a faster feed to high-frequency traders, the effect being that the high-frequency trader knows the prices in the exchange before your order. So he has the privilege of trading against you at an old price if he wants to. And O’Brien says no that’s not true. He lied, on national television, about a central fact about his business.” Michael Lewis -Wired

Under threat of prosecution, the BATS exchange had to admit its esteemed President blatantly lied on national TV. That seems par for the course when it comes to Wall Street executives. Deceitfulness, duplicity, and evasiveness are crucial requirements for the psychopaths occupying the corner offices in this warped world of high finance. The Wall Street Journal reluctantly revealed the truth:

BATS Global Markets Inc., under pressure from the New York Attorney General’s office, corrected statements made by a senior executive during a televised interview this week about how its exchanges work.

BATS President William O’Brien, during a CNBC interview Tuesday, said BATS’s Direct Edge exchanges use high-speed data feeds to price stock trades. Thursday, the exchange operator said two of its exchanges, EDGA and EGX, use a slower feed, known as the Securities Information Processor, to price trades.

 The distinction matters because high-speed traders can use powerful computers and superfast links between markets to outpace traders and trading venues that rely on slower market data, such as the SIP.

Would the BATS Exchange have revealed the truth if they had not been pressured by the New York Attorney General to do so? Not bloody likely. Wall Street never admits guilt for any of its crimes, wrongdoings, misconduct, deceit or deceptions. They pay $1 billion in fines to their government co-conspirators as a public relations ploy, without admitting guilt and after reaping $10 billion of criminally generated profits. Not a bad ROI. The principles of right versus wrong, moral versus immoral, honesty versus dishonesty, and clarity versus opacity are willfully evaded by the titans of Wall Street and create no dilemmas for these greed driven psychopaths. Money and power are their drugs and the Federal Reserve is their dealer.

Michael Lewis books strike a chord with the public because he chooses a good guy hero his audience can empathize with. He played the sympathetic character in Liar’sPoker. Michael Burry, the brilliant Asperger’s Syndrome suffering investment genius, plays the role in The Big Short. And Brad Katsuyama, the mild mannered good hearted hobbit-like Canadian, takes on the evil forces of Mordor in Flash Boys. These characters all have something in common. They don’t fit in. They question the existing paradigm. They refuse to give in to the depraved culture permeating Wall Street. They exhibit an inner moral strength that enables them to resist the temptation of ill-gotten riches. And they don’t surrender their principles for a buck. This passage gives you a glimpse into the soul of Brad Katsuyama:

“In America, even the homeless were profligate. Back in Toronto, after a big bank dinner, Brad would gather the leftovers into covered tin trays and carry them out to a homeless guy he saw every day on his way to work. The guy was always appreciative. When the bank moved him to New York, he saw more homeless people in a day than he saw back home in a year. When no one was watching, he’d pack up the king’s banquet of untouched leftovers after the NY lunches and walk it down to the people on the streets. “They just looked at me like, ‘What the fuck is this guy doing?’” he said. “I stopped doing it because it didn’t feel like anyone gave a shit.” -  Michael Lewis – Flash Boys

The apologists for the corrupt establishment attempted to trash Lewis and Katsuyama by contending the market has always been rigged and manipulated, therefore, the HFT embezzlement is just business as usual. Warren Buffett, king of oligarchs and apologist for the Wall Street billionaire club, assures the peasants the financial markets are fairer than ever. If Uncle Warren says it’s so to his girl Becky Quick on CNBC, how can anyone doubt him? It’s as if the supposedly mathematical genius billionaire forgot everything he learned in business school.

There is $21 trillion worth of U.S. stocks traded every year. Based upon Katsuyama’s analysis of how much high frequency traders, Wall Street dark pools, and the stock exchanges selling access were skimming on virtually every transaction, he estimated at least $160 million per day was being stolen from stock investors. That comes to a cool $40 billion per year, at a minimum. High frequency trading accounted for 25% of all stock trades in 2005. By 2008 high frequency traders accounted for 65% of all trades. They now account for in excess of 80% of all trading. The Ivy League educated Wall Street elite insist this extreme level of computer generated trading provides liquidity and efficiency for the markets. In reality, the actual trading results of the HFT firms, hedge funds and Wall Street TBTF banks prove the game is rigged. JP Morgan experienced ZERO trading loss days in 2013. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and most of the mega-banks have had virtually perfect daily trading results since 2010. If they are all winning, who is losing? Guess. Lewis provides further evidence of “investing” perfection:

“In early 2013, one of the largest high-frequency traders, Virtu Financial, publicly boasted that in five and a half years of trading it had experienced just one day when it hadn’t made money, and that the loss was caused by “human error.” In 2008, Dave Cummings, the CEO of a high-frequency trading firm called Tradebot, told university students that his firm had gone four years without a single day of trading losses. This sort of performance is possible only if you have a huge informational advantage.” – Michael Lewis – Flash Boys

Buffett, the financial “journalists” on CNBC, and all of the defenders of the Wall Street criminal cabal must have been asleep during their Stat class in college. The statistical probability of going four years or even four weeks without a losing trading day is as close to zero as you can get, unless the game is rigged and you are cheating. These results were not accomplished due to the brilliance of Wall Street big hanging dicks and their oversized brains. They were accomplished by front running stock market orders, bribing stock exchanges for first access, gaming the system with more powerful computers, ripping off clients in shadowy dark pools, and keeping the SEC at bay with promises of jobs and riches if they look the other way. This was all done under the veil of hyper-complexity designed to obscure, confuse, and cover-up the truth from unsuspecting investors.

And it is all done “legally” under the auspices of Regulation NMS, established by the SEC in 2007, to foster both competition among individual markets and competition among individual orders, in order to promote efficient and fair price formation across securities markets. As with almost every government regulation, law, or diktat, the new method of “protecting” the sheeple created fresh ways to fleece the sheeple by those who wrote the regulation. See Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act. I don’t need a law or regulation to tell me the difference between right and wrong.

When obnoxiously wealthy pricks with the ability to bribe stock exchanges to place their trading computers on the floor of the exchange and financially induce the Wall Street banks to funnel trades through their dark pools in order to know what is happening a nanosecond before everyone else, and use this information to front run unknowing investors to generate risk free profits, it’s wrong. It really is black and white. I don’t care that it is supposedly “legal”.  By complying with Regulation NMS the smart order routers of institutional investor firms like Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab simply funneled naïve investors into various snares laid for them by the unscrupulous high frequency traders. The bad guys always win and the good guys always lose on Wall Street. And no one does anything because they are all on the take. Lewis puts it in terms the average person can understand.

“It was riskless, larcenous, and legal – made so by Reg NMS. The way Brad had described it, it was as if only one gambler were permitted to know the scores of last week’s NFL games, with no one else aware of his knowledge. He places bets in the casino on every game and waits for other gamblers to take the other side of those bets. There’s no guarantee that anyone will do so; but if they do, he’s certain to win.” – Michael Lewis – Flash Boys

If you aren’t mad yet, you will be after I go into the details of the regulatory capture, obscure deep pools within the bowels of the Too Big To Trust Banks, misuse of technology to defraud the public, and purposeful complexity built into the financial system to confuse and mislead the investing populace. I’ll tackle that in Part Two of this article.

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logicalman's picture

Many things that are legal are not lawful.

DavidPierre's picture

‘It is difficult to get Quinn to understand 9/11, when his over inflated ego depends on his not understanding it.’

‘Quinn shall one day know the truth and 9/11 truth shall make him mad.’

Until that day he gets a FAIL

9-11 Litmus Test


malek's picture

So you're indicating we have no other problems than 9/11?

db51's picture

I'm really pissed now!   Now,, back to the Russian and Thai Matchmaking Service, where at least I might actually enjoy getting fucked out of my money.

km4's picture

Billionaire David Tepper, who runs $20B hedge fund Appaloosa Management 'I Am Nervous. I Think It's Nervous Time' http://www.businessinsider.com/david-tepper-at-salt-conference-2014-5 

CunnyFunt's picture

What's this "about to be" shit?

NoDebt's picture

Agreed.  By the time you hear about it, it's already been going on for years.

Nobody nearest the easy-money spigot tells anyone about it.  It's always the people next in line (who wish they were first) who get pissed off and blab about it.

noless's picture

You forgot the part about getting out when the gettings good.

It's cool though, hard work pays the bills, just remember, it's the law.

disabledvet's picture

The Banks will withhold their liquidity at some point.

I simply fail to see how...other than Government getting a lot smaller...how anything has changed.

Other than the cost of Government of course.

"So we have less Government...but it costs a trillion dollars now."

Hmmm. This doesn't sound like Rocket Science.
"No matter what happens Bank America wins and JP Morgan loses"?

Fer real?

How about we start with "recovery wins and everybody loses" and we go from there.

Cabreado's picture

"If you aren’t mad yet"

Yes, Mr. Quinn, I'm sufficiently pissed -- that I scanned your article looking for an understanding that there are 535 people who are neatly and intentionally organized in such a way that, working correctly, would make all of your way-too-many words moot.


pragmatic hobo's picture

didn't the market makers used have that same advantage?

NoDebt's picture

Not to this extent.  Market makers owned the spread but could not withdraw from participation in the market if things got hairy in the old days.  They could lose, and sometimes did.  Todays "agents of liquidity" have no legal requirement to participate.  Their "liquidity" can evaporate in a milisecond. 

Duc888's picture


We gotta get our top law enforcement guy Eric Holder on this.  Pronto.  "If ya see something, say something"....




Commodore64's picture

The money system IS corruption.

And the corrupt own the system.

Reaper's picture

Laws are enforced by Eric Holder. They're tried before judges selected for the 2nd Circuit appeals and the Southern District of New York by Chuck Schumer. They're prosecuted by Chuck Schumer's former personal attorney as federal prosecutor for the Southern District of NY.

The NY Attorney General, like his predecessor, Cuomo, accepts contributions from your lawyer, if he goes after you.

Or, simply, you pay to play and escape prosecution.

Mistress Raindrop's picture

I'm downright humbled by Wall Street's larceny.  These are some arch-criminals.  They belong in a Batman movie.  Bitches.

Quus Ant's picture

Hi, mr. kitty.  Any interesting bowel movements today?

AdvancingTime's picture

To say the market is rigged is an understatement. After over 30 years of trading commodities I will flat out state without any reservations that lies and manipulation run rampant. If you think anyone is looking out for the small independent trader you are wrong. An unholy alliance of the Federal Reserve, the government, and the too big to fail has left the rest of us in a precarious position. 

For the big boys, its insider information and computer trading, this includes computing patterns that exploit where stops are placed, this improves their ability to wash the weak out of their positions. The bottom-line is that the higher the market goes the more vulnerable it becomes to a major collapse and sudden downward move. More on this subject in the article below.


Caviar Emptor's picture

WS has been deflated in the eyes of a once adoring public. The age of wizards and gurus is long over: everyone now knows that it's just a goat footed little man hiding behind a curtain. The stock market is now only a conduit to obtain capital from the money spigot, the only spigot : uncle sugar's deep pockets

Quus Ant's picture

Everyone knew the markets were corrupt in 1929 as well.  Nothing a world war couldn't cure.

That goat footed little man is light on his hoofs.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Yes. He has the power to seduce and charm. His favorite sin is vanity.

Quus Ant's picture

Seriously though, there isn't a hoofed little man and I don't have to look far outside my window to find vanity and greed..  They are the founding principles of my culture.  This place was founded on taking whatever you can for as long as you can; until we find a new reason to be Wall St will continue as an effect.  Not a cause.

Freedumb's picture

Maybe the SEC should be re-vamped so that they earn bonuses based on the fines they extract, with extra bonuses for bankrupting any bank which engages in fraudulent activity.

Just thinking out loud here, I don't know that this is a good idea.

OldPhart's picture

Tend to favor your idea...but do we really want more government shake-down artists?

Freedumb's picture

Yeah, it's a tough call. Maybe a more restricted set of laws for the SEC to enforce that forces it to focus on the most outrageous fraud, though that currently may very well be the majority of current financial markets activity. But certainly less focus on the "insider traders" who make 10k from their misconduct, we should approach small scale cases much like the inevitably pragmatic turn the war on drugs has taken in most states, reducing enforcement activity on the small fish. (though lets face it, we should legalize drugs. another topic altogether....). You create a financial incentive to go after the big fish among people who are probably money motivated if they work in the Wall Street paradigm as regulators, maybe they'll respond to it.

But as much as we may try to create some "independent" enforcement body, among our "independent" bodies in this country are the Federal Reserve and this probably could not work in the current context of "our bloated fetid crony capitalist corpse of a country" to quote the article (brilliant description, on a side note)

Christophe2's picture

I don't think anything so complicated is required, or that we would even need to worry too much about enforcement of rules if only competing exchanges + greater visibility were to be allowed.

Did any of you notice that at the same time the book came out, the trading TV channels were covering the sudden 'discoveries' of the book AND offering a brand new, TV-approved 'alternate' exchange that promises to not do what all the other exchanges are doing, 'cos obviously each year the number of disgusted traders leaving the system keeps rising...

Main point is that there is no way the elites will allow a legit, independent and totally transparent competitor to exist and cannibalize any of their profits, especially since they want ultimate control of all trading platforms (so they can continue to maximize their criminal take).  With the lawless agencies + mafia contacts ready to pounce on anything deemed threatening to 'national security', the big problem is the purposeful lack of fair alternatives to the mainstream crap (rather than a lack of enforcement on purposefully bad exchanges).

malek's picture

Replace corrupt traders and bankers with even more corrupt lawyers - that should give fantastic results!  /s

See also tort laws.

Guns N Metals's picture

One thing Michael Lewis, a Jew I believe, neglects to point out; is that the corrupt elites -- puppet masters, etc., etc, that he cites in his book, are Jews.

GoldenDonuts's picture

Does anyone else ever get tired of the Jew haters on this site?  (Not a Jew myself just an IQ higher than room temperature)

Commodore64's picture




GoldenDonuts's picture

Why not one exchange serving everyone as a utility.   Sort of like a back to the future thing.  Make simple and clear rules that eliminate loopholes.  For example when an order is placed on the board it must remain there for a minimum time and be filled if acted upon by another player.

Then maybe all of these Russian computer geniuses could move on to more important problems.

Dr. Bonzo's picture

Too funny.... "Under threat of prosecution, the BATS exchange had to admit its esteemed President blatantly lied on national TV..."

They're not prosecuted for _actually_ frontrunning... they're threatened with prosecution just for not saying so on national television. LMFAO.

Pee Wee's picture

Prosecution, or the implied rule of law is the biggest scam of all.

Justice is dead.  Laws are totally moot.

The USA is a failed state, and Fascism is pervasive and systemic in "DC."

The under-30 crowd can expect state successions during their lifetime, but hey, no one saw it coming.

J J Pettigrew's picture

The SEC is full of people waiting for jobs on wall street....why would they ruin their chance at a big job by

catching someone?

The HFTs arent traders at all. Traders have ideas as to the direction of the market. These HFTs only want to jump in front of your order...they must know what you want to do before they move.

And Goldman Sachs has feigned outrage..."I'm shocked that there is gambling here," Casablanca


Dr.Engineer's picture

Great rant.  Now someone do something.

Pee Wee's picture

The solution is so simple, even an American "might" be able to understand and fight.

Withdraw from the system.  Sell everything in your "portfolio prison" of broken dreams.  It's all a mirage anyway.

Ditch the debt, all of it.  Sell your Roth and pay your mortgage.  Can everything and default on everything else.

Convert liquid fraud (fiat) into tangible assets, preferably those that do not depreciate, although depreciation is a mirage of inflation and fraud, too.

The point is get rid of every financial "innovation" you own.

Shut up and sell.

esum's picture

every president who tried to cut out the central bank had an assassination attempt with some success... who wants to be pres??? the pres does what he is told to do and the rest flows downhill... bring back the GREENBACK.... ok so knowing wall street is rigged has stopped you from playing right??? knowledge is useless until it is acted upon... all the investment games are rigged... commodities, real estate, wall street... tell me where a real free market exists... maybe illicit drugs...