Step one to understanding the economy and finance is simply understanding the accounting and financial terms that are new to you or which you do not understand. I usually start with a good dictionary or encyclopedia. A complete Oxford-English Dictionary or a good finance or accounting dictionary should have most of what you need. I always start with Wikipedia and Wiktionary. They usually have the basics.

You can link to both in the links section at this blog under “Get Data.”

If you don’t understand a word, look it up. If for some reason, you feel you still don’t understand, post a question here and I will see if I can answer or get one.


The financial fraud known as “pump and dump” involves artificially inflating the price of a stock or other security through promotion, in order to sell at the inflated price. This practice is illegal under securities law, yet it is particularly common.

One example of a highly successful pump-and-dump operator is Jonathan Lebed. Lebed was 15 years old when the SEC accused him of manipulating several securities — he settled the charges by paying a fraction of his total gains. While Lebed has many apologists who note that his promotional activities are similar to those used by analysts every day, they fail to take into account that he not only made false and misleading statements about companies, but purchased enough shares to temporarily move the market, creating an artificial burst of activity that provoked investor interest. In fiction, a good example of how this works can be seen in the movie Boiler Room.

From Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits


By Catherine Austin Fitts

In the summer of 2000, I asked a group of 100 people at a conference of spiritually committed people who would push a red button if it would immediately stop all narcotics trafficking in their neighborhood, city, state and country. Out of 100 people, 99 said they would not push such red button. When surveyed, they said they did not want their mutual funds to go down if the U.S. financial system suddenly stopped attracting an estimated $500 billion-$1 trillion a year in global money laundering. They did not want their government checks jeopardized or their taxes raised because of resulting problems financing the federal government deficit.

Our financial profiteering and complicity is not limited to aristocrats and the elites who do their bidding. Our financial dependency on unsustainable economics is broad, ingrained and deep.