Friday, January 14, 2011

Fast Times at Wall Street High

My Aunt had a poster up in her kitchen, directed at her then-teenage children. It said something to the effect of "Attention Teens: Tired of being bossed around by your parents? Move out! Get a job! Pay your own bills! But hurry -- while you still know everything!" The joke, of course, being on the prototypical rebellious kid, angry about how his parents were stifling him, man; how they're just a huge load on his shoulders and don't do anything for him -- aside from feed him, clothe him, shelter him, pay for most of his expenses, etc..

It seems like Wall Street is going through a similar thing right now:
Daniel Loeb, founder of the Third Point Management hedge fund, wrote a scathing December rant to fellow Obama Wall Street bundlers – fundraisers who tap their own networks of friends to drive cash to the campaign — suggesting the perfect holiday gift for each of them: A book about battered wives who can’t leave their abusive husbands.

“I am sure, if we are really nice and stay quiet, everything will be alright and the President will become more centrist and that all his tough talk is just words,” Loeb wrote. “I mean when I am alone with him – at $30,000 a plate fund raisers – he’s really nice and once I got invited to the White House!”

Meanwhile, Wall Street profits are ballooning, after the industry was bailed out after it had proceeded to light itself on fire, and, oh yeah, we staved off a global financial meltdown in the process.

So it's not really akin to battered wife syndrome -- a really offensive analogy upon approximately 12 milliseconds of reflection -- but the emo teen thing. President Obama won't let the I-Bankers snort their metaphorical blow (or perhaps, their non-metaphorical blow -- this is Wall Street, after all), and so they're throwing a temper tantrum even as they wallow in piles upon piles of cash they would have never earned had we decided that Wall Street was not, in fact, too big to fail.

Grow up.

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