Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wall Street Partying 1929 Style

As our National CEO noted, "Wall Street got drunk". President George W. Bush didn't highlight his and Congress' role as bartender via the 2005 Bankruptcy Bill,. The White House stated, "These commonsense reforms will make the system stronger and better so that more Americans - especially lower-income Americans - have greater access to credit." Never mind, that government abandoned its historical role as financial cop.

But one man's misfortune is another's opportunity, as noted by the Wall Street Journal.

The richest 1% of Americans in 2006 garnered the highest share of the nation's adjusted gross income for two decades, and possibly the highest since 1929, according to Internal Revenue Service data. Meanwhile, the average tax rate of the wealthiest 1% fell to its lowest level in at least 18 years.

No surprise that a politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU) read the signs and invested strategically to serve the super wealthy. MarketWatch announced The Carlyle Group invested $75 million in Boston Private Financial Holdings. The piece offered a description of Carlyle's latest investment.

Boston Private Wealth Management Group is a national financial service organization comprised of independently operated affiliates located in key regions of the U.S. that offer private banking, wealth advisory and investment management services to the high net worth marketplace, selected businesses and institutions.

So, one might expect change? Hardly, the Bush team wants "hair of the dog that bit them" to cure the hangover. More deregulation is the shot. The Federal Reserve Bank met with members of the aforementioned Carlyle Group to discuss lowering bank requirements such that private equity and their foreign government controlled investment partners can shore up U.S. banks.

The system remains firmly in control of leaders drunk on power and money. The bar's still open and the cops are fast friends of the abusers. It's not a pretty picture, unless you like greed enablers and their concomitant dysfunction.