Maureen Dowd is very angry with Wall Street “capitalists”–
Thain should never rise above the level of stocking the money in A.T.M.’s again. Just think: This guy could well have been Treasury secretary if John McCain had won.
Bartiromo pressed: What was wrong with the office of his predecessor, Stanley O’Neal?
“Well — his office was very different — than — the — the general décor of — Merrill’s offices,” Thain replied. “It really would have been — very difficult — for — me to use it in the form that it was in.”
Did it have a desk and a phone?
How are these ruthless, careless ghouls who murdered the economy still walking around (not to mention that sociopathic sadist Bernie Madoff?) — and not as perps?
Bring on the shackles. Let the show trials begin.
And economist George Reisman is not happy with her “Madame Defarge” act. He writes in “Show Trials with Capitalist Defendants in Shackles”–
It is very easy to interpret the kind of facts that have been described, as an indictment of the capitalist system, which is exactly how they are being interpreted. Millions of people have lost their jobs; millions more fear that they will lose theirs. These millions cannot avoid the further fear that they and their families will be utterly impoverished. And they are being led to blame their losses on capitalism, in large part by being led to blame it on the persons of individual businessmen or capitalists whom they perceive as hateful.
What is present and being inflamed is the psychology of an angry mob. Its sympathies are with innocent victims who have suffered a great wrong. It’s sure it knows who is responsible and how. The next step will be for someone to yell, “Get a rope!”
Already, businessmen and capitalists are starting to cower in fear. Corporations are racing to get rid of their private jets. Next it will be their private dining rooms and limousines. Private profit and personal luxury at any level are in danger before the onslaught of a collectivist mentality that holds that if many are suffering, all must suffer, and, further, that those who do not suffer are responsible for the suffering of those who do. Anyone whose head is above the crowd will risk being a target.
Dowd then asked in a triumph akin to that of crushing a cockroach:
Did it have a desk and a phone?
I can’t help wondering, if when Dowd may need a surgical operation someday, she will be satisfied if her surgeon has a table and a knife.
I nearly burst out laughing when I read Jacob Weisberg’s article “In Defense of Bankers”–
Not long ago, American culture abhorred lawyers, mistrusted journalists and envied bankers. Today we ignore lawyers, pity journalists and despise those who are connected to Wall Street—for undermining their own companies, trashing the global economy and being insanely overpaid. Public sentiment has judged the lot of them guilty as hell and sentenced them indefinitely to a mid-six-figure stockade.
This reaction is understandable, but hardly rational. While our financial system as a whole has been revealed to be deeply flawed, most bankers deserve the new loathing no more than they did the old fawning.
On the larger point, that the gap between executive pay and the pay of working people is a moral scandal, President Obama is surely correct. Financial firms have failed in part because they rewarded people in ways that encouraged them to serve their own interests at the expense of shareholders. Moreover, grotesque rewards for banking jobs are themselves an illustration of how the market can misallocate resources, sending too many intelligent people away from more economically productive (and stimulating and fulfilling) pursuits. But even under a different system, we will need an energetic and creative financial class. Shooting the wounded now won’t help us get one back.
He didn’t get it then, and he doesn’t get it now.