President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.
The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”
“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”
Yves here. There are only two, not mutually exclusive, conclusions one can reach from reading this tripe: that Obama is a lackey of the financiers, and putting the best spin he can on their looting, or he is a fool.
The salient fact is that, their protests to the contrary, the wealth of those at the apex of the money machine was not the result of the operation of “free markets” or any neutral system. The banking industry for the better part of two decades has fought hard to create a playing field skewed in their favor, with it permissible to sell complex products with hidden bad features to customers often incapable of understanding them. By contrast, one of the factors that needs to be in place for markets to produce desirable outcomes is for buyers and sellers to have the same information about the product and the objectives of the seller.
Similarly, the concentrated capital flows, often too-low interest rates, and asymmetrical Federal Reserve actions (cutting rates fast when markets look rocky, being very slow to raise rates and telegraphing that intent well in advance) that are the most visible manifestations of two decades of bank-favoring policies, are the equivalent of massive subsidies.
And that’s before we get to the elephant in the room, the massive subsidies to the banksters that took place during the crisis and continue today.
We have just been through the greatest looting of the public purse in history, and Obama tries to pass it off as meritocracy in action.
Obama is beyond redemption.