Too wiped out to write what I planned to write for Wednesday, but do make sure you check out the NY Mag piece by a reporter who sneaked into Wall Street's most secret fraternity during its annual induction of new sociopaths.

As I walked through the streets of midtown in my ill-fitting tuxedo, I thought about the implications of what I’d just seen.

The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles.
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Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis.

The second thing I realized was that Kappa Beta Phi was, in large part, a fear-based organization. Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting. Their cowardice had reduced them to sniping at their perceived enemies in the form of satirical songs and sketches, among only those people who had been handpicked to share their view of the world. And the idea of a reporter making those views public had caused them to throw a mass temper tantrum.

"Completely divorced themselves from reality" sounds about right. At least the likes of Frick, Cooke, Morgan, and Old Man Rockefeller had no illusions about being anything other than loathsome bastards.


  • middle seaman says:

    Does it really matter whether WS abounds with assholes disjoint from reality or a collection of wise and realistic nice guys?

    Either way, we way we are screwed.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Also, too – at least the likes of Frick, Cooke, Morgan, and Old Man Rockefeller, either financed things that made shit, or made shit themselves, like Ford, that provided jobs.

    These HedgeHOGfund assclowns take some "vig" off of moving other rich people's money around, and expect fawning applause and cries of "Bravo" from the ones below them – which, no coincidentally, is 99% of the rest of us.

    Kill the rich.
    Eat the rich.
    But remember to eat them well done, or stewed – those sociopathic vermin are bound to be packed with microbial vermin!

  • cundgulag – I sometimes wonder if these assclowns realize the debt they owe to religion. "Religion – It's what keeps the poor from killing and eating the rich."

  • DaveDell,
    Oh, I think they know, alright!

    That's why so many of them are on board with our Christian Conservatives attempts to turn this into a Christian Theocratic Fascist Plutocracy.

    They may or may not believe in the religion part, but they know that it's shown great ROI results for thousands and thousands of years.

  • Regarding the existence of this "secret society" and its activities, I'll quote a line from on of my favorite movies ("Metropolitan"):

    "It's interesting, I suppose, but hardly a revelation."

  • They were self aware enough to know that they wouldn't want anyone to see what they were doing. After Romney's 47% speech, I wouldn't be surprised if they make waitstaff go through security scanners before any gatherings of the plutocracy from now on.

  • Is it too much for me to wish that next year someone might be able to get into the party and go all Inglourious Basterds on the place and make the world a better place in one fell swoop?

  • As it turns out, a colleague was asking me just today what I thought of TED talks.

    I told him that if a rich guy offers an intellectual a big pile of money to give a 15-minute talk, then the rich guy isn't interested in ideas. It's just an exercise in humiliation. My gut feeling is that the existence of TED talks points to a deep-seated sense of intellectual inferiority in the 1%. Money can buy them anything but intellectualism. But at least it can buy the dignity of intellectuals.

    I think this article reveals a little more of that iceberg. When the 1% wants to start a club, the chief premise of the club is to mock Phi Beta Kappa.

  • My insight may be fueled more by reactive emotional elements than the rational (in all honesty, it is occasionally difficult to differentiate between the two), but I doubt any meaningful national political or economic reform will happen sans violence. Every single avenue to peaceful revolution has been countered by the almighty dollar.

    Revolutionary War, Civil War.

    Buy guns and ammo. Learn to use them, and please try not to go berserk. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

  • Hey, Henry Clay Frick may have been a heartless bastard who literally killed two thousand people with a country club, but he defeated an assassin after being shot and stabbed. They just don't make CEOs like that any more.

    punkdavid: Is it too much for me to wish that next year someone might be able to get into the party and go all Inglourious Basterds on the place and make the world a better place in one fell swoop?

    Say what you will about how much our current system sucks, but turning it into The Terror would probably make it worse.

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