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Bogle believes that the current edition of the American investment community is mired in quagmire of deceit, bad practices and greed. Wall Street's fixation with momentary stock prices has eclipse Corporate America's need to establish value in product. Lee Iaccoca, the great auto executive, once suggested that the only economic value he understood happened when customers bought something his company made and money exchanged hands. Every other transaction has the potential to be only an illusion or fantasy. In the past few decades, America and the rest of the world has been on a roller-coaster ride, with some big name stocks swinging as much as $50-100 in the process. Prices have been propped up by all kinds of shady dealers who are out to bleed the company dry in the interests of feathering their own nests, i.e. the Enron, the Tyco, and Hollinger Inc debacles just to name a few. The most serious fallout from these shenanigans is a growing lack of public trust in the workings of the stock and venture capital markets. Fund managers, with the exception of a few like Peter Lynch of the Fidelity Magellan group, have taken the security that was once available to the common man in investment instruments like mutual funds and literally turned it into a game of high-risk poker with them holding all the chips. Any chance of reforming the system and removing these bad actors, according to Bogle, is next to impossible unless it is accompanied by stiff rules of disclosure. His book talks about government regulators challenging every corporation to prove the strength of their earnings, and award charter status only to those who are economically healthy. This assessment would help the public determine where to invest its money. Alas, just recently, Congress blocked the White House's request for tighter regulations as to honest and fair disclosure of company assets. Corporate lobbyists are telling Washington lawmakers to but out and leave their companies to continue running the show according to the laissez-faire practices.
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