Sunday, July 8, 2018

Roots of Immoral PEU


The 1980.s saw the formation of many private equity underwriters.  Photographer Lauren Greenfield spent decades photographing the super wealthy.  She observed that more money is never enough for greed addicts.

“No matter how much people had, they still wanted more,” Greenfield says of her (wealthy) subjects. 
One of her subjects spoke to America's shift that produced widespread greed.

We meet Florian Homm, a hedge fund manager living in self-imposed exile in Germany to avoid extradition to the US where he has been sentenced to 225 years in jail. Smoking cigars and dripping in gold, Homm, who became known as “the antichrist of finance” for ripping off his investors for hundreds of millions of dollars, tells Greenfield that morality changed in the 80s. “The value system changed completely. It wasn’t about who you are, but about what you are worth

Morals are completely non-productive in that value system.”
The greed and leverage boys arose from this immoral swamp and their greed has been self serving.

The richest 0.1% of the world’s population has increased their combined wealth by as much as the poorest 50% – or 3.8 billion people – since 1980.

UBS published research showing that the super-rich hold the greatest concentration of wealth since the time of the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts at the turn of the 20th century. There are now 1,542 billionaires across the world, more than ever before. The richest 500 people alive increased their wealth by 23% last year, taking their combined fortunes to $5.3tn – more than twice the gross domestic product of the UK 
How many workers got a raise from their PEU sponsor in the last year?   While employees struggle under a low to no raise workplace

The pursuit of more money has costs and consequences to society, but also to families..  A 13 year old boy from a wealthy family told the photographer:  “Money ruins kids, money has ruined me”

Greed addicts uses their super wealth to buy inordinate influence from America's Red and Blue political parties.  Both Democratic and Republican White Houses catered to the PEU boys for nearly three decades.  PEU friendly Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama oversaw the growth of inequality from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

President Donald Trump looks to ramp up the wealth gap as he uses the unitary executive to help his fellow billionaires.  A presidential pardon may be on the table for junk bond king Michael Milken.  With the swipe of a pen Trump could remove the legal blemish from leveraged buyouts, which morphed into private equity.

When morals are nonproductive the legal system has little work to do.  Greed remains the prime objective, closely followed by image management.