This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Five Main Street Myths About Wall Street

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There are lots of myths out there about Wall Street folk, so we're setting the record straight. After all, if you're going to hate the hot shots at Goldman Sachs (GS), you should at least get your facts straight.

Myth 1: Wall Street Preys on the Innocent

The debt difficulties of Greece provide a recent example of how this perception isn't quite right. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) have gotten lots of bad press for working with the Greek government to help it mask its debts, and now the Greek economy is in deep trouble.

But these debt-masking efforts by Greek politicians were fairly minor in the grand scheme of things. Greece's debt levels were too high even if you erase the debts they hid with the help of Wall Street financial wizardry. There is also the fact that Greek politicians hired Goldman to help it mask its debts. If they were innocent, they wouldn't have done that.

Similarly, the loose lending standards that enabled people to buy homes they couldn't afford during the housing boom were not the sole fault of the bankers. For a story called "The Giant Pool of Money," which aired in May 2008, the public radio program "This American Life" found a guy named Clarence Nathan who took out a loan called a NINA, which stands for No Income, No Asset. This enabled Nathan, who earned $45,000 annually, to borrow $540,000 against his house.

"I wouldn't have loaned me the money," Nathan told his interviewer, Alex Blumberg.

Nathan may have been honest, but he was far from innocent.

1 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs