If you are a regular long time reader of this blog then the topic of who owns it all is not new. In the past, I have trumpeted Walter Burien’s work on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reporting (CAFR) Issue that shows that by collective investments of all government entities the people own all the stocks and bonds pretty much world wide including the stock exchanges which are themselves stocks! Well, let’s back the train up a little bit folks!
It has not come to my attention that some shenanigans have been getting played out in the past few years that have changed who actually owns the stocks! Grab a cup of coffee or a stiff drink, sit down, buckle up and prepare to be hit between the eyes with this little bit of news!
People a few decades back used to buy a stock and would receive a stock certificate in the mail. When they went to sell said stock they would have to ship it off to a broker who would sell it for them. That was a bit cumbersome as we moved to internet trading and thus brokerage firms would be an acting form of attorney for you and you the beneficiary of said stocks. Then, rules were changed and now brokerage firms are no longer allowed to own stocks, but must put them in a “holding” account called “Cede & Company” or “Cede & Co.” and we have been told it’s some fictitious entity created to just make it easy to trade stocks quickly. Well, that’s not quite the truth. In fact the DTCC actually owns “Cede & Company” and thus all stocks put in their name are owned by them!
Now, hopefully they will play nice, but if you have any feelings that maybe private businesses might become less than honest and should the economy go down they might turn on their friends and claim ownership since all the stocks (60 TRILLION dollars worth) are in their name, then you might see things could be less than honest. Here are some articles for you to read if you are so inclined: