Sunday, February 8, 2009

The so-called Law of the Wall Street Jungle cited

in three NYT's articles the day our new President chastised the major banks for taking 20 billion in bonuses struck me as an almost perfect expression of the long-running American delusion of rugged individualism. Here's one. They all cited "We eat what we kill" as the working credo and passionate self-justification for the bank's need to feast on the blood of taxpayer money.

I have less of a problem with the unapologetic ask-for-no-quarter-and-take-none capitalist warrior's ethos than the fact that these bankers seem totally blind to the privilege that allowed them to hunt the big game in the first place, and of course, totally incapable of living up to the consequences of the fact that their hunt has gone bad..

We eat what we kill?
Are you kidding me? As if they were wandering the dense and wild jungle with nothing but a club and incisors sharpened on bone rather than being surrounded and supported by the largest and most powerful financial infrastructures since the beginning of time? The claim--advanced by a few--that they all shouldn't suffer just because of those few bad apples in the mortgage department doesn't really hold up either, especially if you are a great white hunter. If someone in my compay sinks the ship with bad deals, guess what, I go down with it, no matter how successful I was last year. If they don''t want to be saddled with the burdensome losses of a multi-national corporations, well then, why don't they take a walk on the wild side.

Investment bankers are about as self-reliant as the chronically ill.

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