Sunday, September 26, 2021

Reich Ignores PEU Greed

 Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote:

The most telling trends over the last three decades have been the growing share of the economy going into corporate profits – generating ever-greater compensation packages for top executives and ever-higher payouts for big investors (all of whom live off shares of stock) – and the declining share going to most Americans as wages and salaries. 

He said this after suggesting greed had been "laundered out" of corporate contracts.  

The specific people who enter those contracts (on behalf of big corporations as well as thousands of people who run vast investment funds on behalf of millions of shareholders) are neither greedy nor socially responsible. They’re merely doing what they understand to be their jobs. Greed and social responsibility have been laundered out of these transactions.

Horse hockey!  Greed drove the three decades old trend, nothing else.  The PEU boys played a major role as founders became multi-billionaires with direct access to elected officials.  Reich's former boss helped the greed and leverage boys get a foothold.

Oddly, Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein and Reich worked for President Jimmy Carter's administration.  The former Mrs. Rubenstein highlighted her husband's underlying greed.

In 2016, Rubenstein gave the National Park Service $18.5 million to help restore the Lincoln Memorial. In private, Alice Rogoff Rubenstein has described those acts as publicity grabs and claimed all her financier husband really cares about is making money.

Reich's worry came true.  Ignoring underlying greed takes the focus off policy making billionaires, the elephants in the economy.

Update 9-29-21:  Doomberg noticed with his statement:

"the grotesque exploitation of political power for personal financial gain is so common that it dulls one’s capacity for outrage."  

PEUReport tried to document that pattern since 2007.  Later Doomberg said:

What is the future of a country in which minor offenses by “everyman” individuals are prosecuted, and major offenses committed by powerful figureheads are permitted?

Not satisfied with mere good fortune, America’s elite are indulging in an orgy of staggering self-enrichment, the scale of which would make even Bacchus blush. As the embers of disgust take hold, one wonders how long until a full-on fire rages from below to spoil the party.

That's why regional Fed Chiefs get to resign after years of insider trading.  Individuals giving up their jobs to avoid ethics concerns are analogous to corporations settling investigations with no admission of guilt.  Not justice, but "just us" elites looking out for one another.

Update 10-4-21:  Wolf Street reported how former PEU, now Fed Chief Jay Powell helped the billionaire boys.  Cheap debt is a huge boon to the greed and leverage boys.

The Fed’s doctrine of the “Wealth Effect” is designed to enrich the top 10%, particularly the top 1%, particularly the top 0.01%, and particularly the Billionaire Class. The more they have, the more they benefit. This is official Federal Reserve policy.

Blue PEU Hunter Biden still owns 10% of a Chinese private equity firm through Skaneateles LLC.  Hunter is the sole owner of Skaneateles.  

Update 10-5-21:  Tax Justice Network wrote in regard to the Pandora papers:

The Pandora Papers document 14 offshore professional service providers, and the way in which a mass of politicians, public officials and celebrities have utilised the offshore system to hide the true value of their wealth, and in some cases pay less tax than they owe. 
Public outcry following the Panama Papers forced governments to adopt tax transparency measures but they stopped short of full transparency. The biggest blockers to transparency are the US, which the Pandora Papers confirms is the world’s biggest peddler of financial secrecy, and the UK, the leader of the world’s biggest tax haven network. We need full transparency so we can hold tax abusers accountable, especially when our politicians are among them.

I expect many Western greed and leverage boys, besides the outed Tony Blair, to be in the treasure trove of documents.  This release of information makes Robert Reich's column even more odd in his discounting the role of greed and illicit financial behavior in record income inequality.

Update 10-7-21:  Reich changed tune saying "both Clinton and Obama allowed the power of the working class to erode"  He said both political parties shafted the average American:

What happens when you combine freer trade, shrinking unions, Wall Street bailouts, growing corporate power and the abandonment of campaign finance reform? You shift political and economic power to the wealthy and you shaft the working class.

The Biden cabinet is chock full of PEUs.  Politicians Red and Blue love PEU and have for decades. 

Update 11-8-21:  Reich now writes of the impact of greed with:

realities of wealth inequality in America and how the system has become rigged in favor of those at the top

Update 2-9-22:  Greed impacts housing costs.  Rent up, maintenance down.  That's the PEU way.

Private equity-backed firms in the top 35 cumulatively held roughly a million apartments last year, the analysis showed.  The companies’ size allows them to influence market rates and lobby against reforms that could dilute their power. And their goals — quickly hiking a building’s profits so they can sell it at a premium — are often at odds with those of the tenants who need to live in them.

Update 2-13-22: Reich's latest column omitted the Blue Team's role in building American oligarch's. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did their part to grow PEU wealth at the expense of the worker.