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In case you missed it, This American Life in conjunction with Planet Money yet again produces radio worth listening to in Wall Street: Money Never Weeps.

Ira [Glass] with Planet Money economics correspondent Adam Davidson on why—-even after everything President Obama has done to save Wall Street, actions which have led to record profits and bonuses—-Wall Street seems ungrateful. Adam and producer Jane Feltes head out to a Wall Street bar where they're told by three finance guys that there's no reason to thank the President for saving their jobs.

  The victim-hood of the privileged as embodied in the Tea Party Movement is endemic on Wall Street and for a taste of this bitter tea infused with crocodile tears I recommend you follow the link provided above and listen for yourself.

  Hear budding financial media star Anthony Scaramucci complain to President Obama that he and others on Wall Street feel like pinatas; hear hedge fund manager Steve Schwarzman, head of the private equity firm Blackstone Group, complain that raising the taxes on his hedge fund earning from 15% to 35% is like Hitler invading Poland. Lest we forget, the Blackstone Group has been a principal beneficiary of the  Wall Street bailout  including lucrative contracts with the Treasury Department to manage numerous new financial rescue programs. And, according to Adam Davidson, Schwarzman is not an outlier. His views are widely shared on Wall Street. Davidson is reminded by all this of the self pity and lack of self reflection expressed by wealthy, high level Iraqi Baathists whose gravy train dried up with the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Davidson wishes that Wall Streeters would admit the truth: that their businesses failed and that they were saved by precisely that which they now rail against---government intervention.

Instead he and the rest of us get this. Davidson's Wall Street beat takes him and his crew to a local watering hole, the Pound & Pence, across the street from the Federal Reserve building in lower Manhattan. The Planet Money folks engage in argument with some young investment bank hotshots, maintaining that the latter would not have their jobs but for the tax payers and the government. One of the hotshots responds "You're crazy" and maintains that he has his job because:

Hotshot: I'm a smart's survival of the fittest...I'm smarter than the average person...

Planet Money: Even if the government bailed out your business that failed, you say its because you're smarter?

Hotshot: The government bailing out an industry was out of necessity for whatever the situation was...the fact that I benefited from that was because I'm smart...I took advantage of a situation. Ninety-five percent of the population doesn't have that common sense.

  At one point in the conversation Janet Feltes says she wishes she could walk into a bar in lower Manhattan and have one of these guys just say to her, a tax payer, "thank you for saving my job."

  And there are many on Main Street who wish they had reason to offer such thanks.


Originally posted to Wolf10 on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 04:25 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My heart is breaking (5+ / 0-)

    for these poor, victimized pantywaists. Let's cut their tax rate to zero. They'd probably still whine.

  •  They make my blood boil (6+ / 0-)

    Paulson comes to Congress with a 3 page proposal that's supposed to relieve their books of troubled assets so that credit can keep flowing into main street with the threat that the whole global economy will crumble if they don't give it to! They blink, the hand over hundreds of billions of dollars and the banks go to Vegas with it, make a fortune for themselves. They neither take care of their troubled assets nor do they loosen credit and our economy on main street goes to hell with millions loosing their jobs because of the economic contraction. Two years later we're still in the middle of this nightmare and they're doing just fine.

    They are disconnected from our reality in a way so profound I don't know that it's a gulf that can be bridged. They can all go to hell, I have no sympathy for these devils.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 04:57:20 PM PDT

  •  It was both nauseating and (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, corvo, kurt, Wolf10, Siri

    enraging.  Had I been there, not sure I could have stopped myself from punching those assholes in the face.  

    "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

    by Marie on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 05:16:51 PM PDT

  •  These are the George W Bush brigade. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, Ckntfld, kurt, Wolf10

    They started life on 3rd base and think that they all hit home runs.  In a more civilized society, these people would be in jail, instead they control our lives.

    "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

    by lakehillsliberal on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 06:08:31 PM PDT

  •  Except that the vast majority of (0+ / 0-)

    investment bankers and traders on the street are Democrats. All the way up to the executive suites. By and large, these are young, educated, socially liberal people who are very liberal and very capitalist as well. Obama raised more from the street, a lot more, than McCain.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 06:41:46 PM PDT

    •  and now that they're bailed out ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ckntfld, Wolf10

      they'll bait out on Obama and look for a sweeter deal.  No surprises.  they wall st douche bags fist, dems or republicans or humans second-- at best second.

      My political compass: Economic: -7.38 Social: -5.79

      by musicalhair on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 07:42:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Main street was the one that was (0+ / 0-)

        bailed out. But Wall St and the banks had to be bailed out in order to bail out Main St. The average Joes of this country should be mad at the politicians for allowing the situation to get to that point. But once the crisis was upon us, the bailout was an absolute necessity. Not a favor to an industry. A vital necessity. Some of us understand that and appreciate what they did for all of us.

        I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

        by doc2 on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 07:52:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Everything out of their mouth is a Negotiating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, Wolf10

    tactic.  Same with any business entity that is so tied into public policy.  They whine.  Prison guard unions, defense contractors, wall st, etc etc, their wallet does the talking.

    What we need to do is free the American economy from their bullshit so that, when they fail again, they fail without taking everyone else with them.

    My political compass: Economic: -7.38 Social: -5.79

    by musicalhair on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 07:47:33 PM PDT

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