September 10, 2010

Ultra-Rich in Finance Are Meaner Than Rest of Us: Matthew Lynn - Bloomberg Addition/revision--in the comments Alain rightly points out that it matters little if hedge fund managers are nice as individuals. The point is the system. I agree. It was a mistake on my part to excerpt the article from Bloomberg without comment. I posted it for two reasons: 1. It was in Bloomberg, which is not inclined to critical articles on those in the finance sector; 2. It is has some nice links to empirical pieces that refute the capitalist argument that inequalities of wealth can be beneficial because of the generosity of the rich, that is, their donations to charities, non-profit institutions, museums, private colleges and universities, etc. The article points to the fact that the new rich aren't doing this as much as people suppose. And, in addition to wringing every cent they can out of any transaction they can monetize or securitize, they avoid paying lots of fees the rest of us get stuck with us. They game the system already in place to benefit them; even the smallest fee is too much. There is an increasing amount of evidence that the rich are a vicious tribe of people. One study last year from the University of California, Berkeley, found that the rich are ruder than others. Another piece of research, conducted at the same institution, concluded they were less likely to give to charity than poorer people were. A third study, carried out at the Humboldt University in Berlin, concluded they were “nastier,” in the sense of...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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