Friday, May 25, 2012

Egos and Immortality

A good read from Paul Krugman:

Wall Street has responded — predictably, I suppose — by whining and throwing temper tantrums. And it has, in a way, been funny to see how childish and thin-skinned the Masters of the Universe turn out to be. Remember when Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group compared a proposal to limit his tax breaks to Hitler’s invasion of Poland? Remember when Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase characterized any discussion of income inequality as an attack on the very notion of success?

But here’s the thing: If Wall Streeters are spoiled brats, they are spoiled brats with immense power and wealth at their disposal. And what they’re trying to do with that power and wealth right now is buy themselves not just policies that serve their interests, but immunity from criticism.

Fat fuckin' chance.

So, no, financial wheeling and dealing did not do wonders for the American economy, and there are real questions about why, exactly, the wheeler-dealers have made so much money while generating such dubious results.

Those are, however, questions that the wheeler-dealers don’t want asked — and not, I think, just because they want to defend their tax breaks and other privileges. It’s also an ego thing. Vast wealth isn’t enough; they want deference, too, and they’re doing their best to buy it. It has been amazing to read about erstwhile Democrats on Wall Street going all in for Mitt Romney, not because they believe that he has good policy ideas, but because they’re taking President Obama’s very mild criticism of financial excesses as a personal insult.

And it has been especially sad to see some Democratic politicians with ties to Wall Street, like Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, dutifully rise to the defense of their friends’ surprisingly fragile egos.

And in the midst of this national nightmare, all too many members of the economic elite seem mainly concerned with the way the president apparently hurt their feelings. That isn’t funny. It’s shameful.

They fucked over the whole country and then the whiny pussy bastards throw a hissy fit when they get called on it even a little bit instead of getting the ticker tape parade and the admiration of the nation they think they're entitled to. Yeesh. The Vampire Capitalists better realize they've got their "deference" by not being in jail. For now.


offlogic said...

Nicely turned phrase: "vampire capitalist" captures the gestalt better than "vulture capitalist".

Anonymous said...

I think "financial termite" is a more apt term. They mostly hollow-out companies. While on the surface it might look healthy and productive, any small pressure will cause it to collapse.