Monday, April 13, 2009

Finance is Rotten: Get the rich!

The basic capitalist bargain, under which genuine risktakers are allowed to garner huge rewards, seems a poor one if taxpayers are landed with a huge bill for it all. Hence the anger.

SHOOT: The rich are now at pains to secret away their loot.

There is even a correction going on in conspicuous consumption: Net-a-porter, a pricey website, offers to deliver designer outfits to its customers in brown paper bags.

SHOOT: Banking needs to become a boring business once more, with salaries equivalent to what we see in education. Teachers should be the benefactors of higher salaries, because God knows, populations around the world need to get smart, and quick.
clipped from
Frightened by the downturn, people are furious with politicians, central bankers and immigrants. But a rising wave of anger is directed against the new “malefactors of great wealth”.
Today’s villains are a larger and more global bunch than the handful of American robber barons Teddy Roosevelt denounced a century ago; and most of them are bankers and fund managers, rather than owners of trusts and railroads.
The first charge is that the rich created a new form of heads-I-win-tails-you-lose capitalism.
Unlike the “deserving” rich entrepreneurs who set up Microsoft and Google, the “undeserving” traders and brokers just shuffled money around the system to nobody’s profit but their own.
As finance grew, the banks got ever bigger—too big to fail, eventually, so when they tottered taxpayers had to prop them up. Far from epitomising capitalism, the undeserving rich undermined it: it was socialism for the wealthy.
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