Ladder Lifted

Who is America’s financial industry looking out for?

Photo: M. Jeremy Goldman


I saw the boom of the aughts firsthand while working at J.P. Morgan’s investment bank, watched the debt bomb of the 2008 crisis blithely constructed by one-dimensional business-school graduates who rarely questioned the market gospel that a hedge fund manager deserves his vast billions just as surely as a Malaysian sweatshop worker deserves her vast miseries. Beyond lamenting their diminished bonuses, most were unbothered by the destruction they had wrought and profited from; they don’t teach haunted self-examination at the Wharton School. But at least with the 2008 crisis there was deniability… Trump’s inaugural stock rally is a more disturbing phenomenon, bringing us to the grossest of Trumpian revelations— Which is that American money is done pretending that its interests and those of American society are remotely aligned. The market’s silent hands have raised up a garish, glass-condo fifth column, filled with investors all cheering unfolding political catastrophe, because in the short term, it may tend to enrich them.

There’s more, but even if none of it comes as a shock — or could, somehow — it won’t leave you feeling happy about anything happening now. Not that that was ever on the cards anyway.

Witness Donald Trump’s Wall Street Enablers Grinning as He Prepares to Gut Dodd-Frank