By Gene Lyons

Pity The Poor Plutocrats

November 28, 2012 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 40 Comments A+ / A-
Pity The Poor Plutocrats

Pity the poor plutocrats.

What with Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign having come to an ignominious end, new champions have been called forth lest mobs of pitchfork-waving grandmas and torch-bearing old men rendered fearless by Dentu-Grip breach the walls of their elegant suburban redoubts.

One such hero is Lloyd Blankfein, the universally revered CEO of Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs. At least that’s how anchorman Scott Pelley presented him in a November 19 CBS News interview. Adopting a tone of awed deference most often reserved for British royalty and Hollywood actresses with breasts bigger than their heads, Pelley depicted Blankfein as “one of the world’s most influential bankers.”

Who better to advise the nation how to avoid the dread “fiscal cliff”—the latest phony, made-for-TV Washington melodrama? The great man even permitted CBS cameras into the Goldman Sachs trading floor, which Pelley treated as a signal honor.

A bunch of guys in neckties sitting in front of computer screens, in case you missed it. It could have been the sports betting room in any Las Vegas casino, essentially a high-tech bookie joint.

“When we asked Blankfein how to reduce the federal budget deficit,” Pelley said “he went straight for the subject that politicians don’t want to talk about.”

To guys with multimillion-dollar salaries, see, the deficit qualifies as the nation’s Number One Problem. Never mind the millions out of work, although as Paul Krugman keeps pointing out, the soaring interest rates and runaway inflation that deficit scolds keep predicting keep not happening. Investors seemingly can’t buy enough U.S. bonds at record low interest rates.

Now, there are several topics Goldman’s head honcho might be reluctant to talk about. Such as 2008, when Wall Street investment banks damn near destroyed the world financial system by gambling on crap securities based on subprime mortgages. Or the $10 billion federal bailout Goldman Sachs took to remain solvent, since repaid.

I doubt Blankfein would have much to tell CBS about the 2010 civil fraud lawsuit the SEC filed against Goldman for peddling junk derivatives it allegedly designed to fail. Many thought criminal charges would have been more appropriate. The bank ultimately settled for a $550 million fine. Blankfein testified to the U.S. Senate that Goldman Sachs had no fiduciary duty to inform clients it was betting against securities it was selling.

You wouldn’t buy a used limousine from this guy.

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Pity The Poor Plutocrats Reviewed by on . Pity the poor plutocrats. What with Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign having come to an ignominious end, new champions have been called forth lest mobs of pit Pity the poor plutocrats. What with Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign having come to an ignominious end, new champions have been called forth lest mobs of pit Rating:

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Comments

  • nobsartist

    Blankfien needs to explain how his college room mate, bill ford jr. just happened to take out a 26 BILLION dollar loan 1 year before the financial collapse thru Goldman Sachs.

    Why did he tell bill about this? Why did he advise Ford about what he was doing but not the rest of America?

    Isnt that “insider trading” and illegal?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    Of course the Wall Street parasites want to keep capital gain taxes low and loopholes in place. Their God is the Almight dollar and their moral compass is the accumulation of wealth. These people don’t create jobs, they don’t care about country, and they don’t care who is thrown under the bus if the end result is more money in their Swiss accounts. The current capital tax rate is unsustainable, it must be raised and the sooner the better. The same goes for dividends taxes and the estate tax. These tax breaks only benefit the wealthy, those who do not need our help to enjoy the best money can buy. Their portfolios will not suffer if the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans go up, they will continue to invest and profit regardless of how much they pay in taxes because, in the end, the only thing they produce is profits for themselves.

    • http://www.facebook.com/clarence.swinney Clarence Swinney

      Top 2%
      own 50 Financial Assets
      Get 30% Individual Income
      need a tax beak????

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

        Distribution of wealth in the United States
        Top 1 percent Next 19 percent Bottom 80 percent
        1983 33.8% 47.5% 18.7%
        1989 37.4% 46.2% 16.5%
        1992 37.2% 46.6% 16.2%
        1995 38.5% 45.4% 16.1%
        1998 38.1% 45.3% 16.6%
        2001 33.4% 51.0% 15.6%
        2004 34.3% 50.3% 15.3%
        2007 34.6% 50.5% 15.0%
        2010 35.4% 53.5% 11.1%
        If you break it down a little farther you will find that about 1,000 individuals in the top 1% own the largest percentage – per capita – of all the financial wealth in the USA.
        Incredibly, as soon as anyone in the bottom 80% dares question the inequity of this situation, that person or institution is immediately accused of class warfare by the privileged few. Most Americans respect hard work and admire those who through their own efforts succeed and rise to the top, but most of us also understand that the current distribution of wealth, and the financial losses endured by the middle class in recent years, is untenable.

        • CPANewYork

          Mr. Vila:

          So, if I understand your chart, in 2010, the top twenty percent own eighty-eight point nine percent of the wealth in America and the rest of us “poor slobs” own eleven point one percent? Is that what you’re saying?

          I’ve read this before, but I’ve never been given the source of those figures. Do you have it?

          • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

            My response, which included a website address, went to the moderator for approval. Google something like “the top 1% own % of all the financial wealth in the USA” and you will get several websites with information on this subject.

        • jarheadgene

          The BS these guys are full of is UNREAL. Most of that 1% did not EARN any of that wealth, they inherited it. NO hard work involved….the hard work is being done by those in the middle. You cannot served TWO Gods.

      • JREX_TheRexReport

        With this philosophy, I would be careful to not become too successful. If you do, your irresponsible friends will want to label you a capitalist, and take it all away from you.

        It seems that this way of thinking should keep anyone from wanting to work. Just one question: who is going to pay the bills?

  • http://www.facebook.com/clarence.swinney Clarence Swinney

    REVENUE + SPEND DEBATE
    ——Spending —-Revenue (% gdp)
    1985—14————–17
    2000—18————–21
    2008—24————–17
    2010—23————–16
    Percent increase/decrease 2000-2010
    Spend + 28%–Revenue minus 25%
    We borrowed 7000 Billion

    • mavilasr

      McCain and his crew are looking more and more ridiculous!!!!!

  • latebloomingrandma

    I did not see this interview, but Scott Pelley should be fired. I thought 60 Minutes was supposed to be a hard hitting news show. He could have asked why does a person with a $16 million a year salary + bonuses have such an objection to an average SS yearly payment of $14,000? Can this smart, rich idiot even fathom such a thing? I would love to see the journalism profession really bring back investigative peices unstead of tabloid stuff and the pressure to get out the “story” first, even if it is false or, worse, manufactured. We never used to need “fact-checkers” because news organizations employed their own. Who does now? I would be interested to know.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JMT6C3LHLJDD4RX4NB4KY5ICAE gargray

    Wasn’t Goldman Sachs part of the problem, They think they run this country, mabye they do.

    • CPANewYork

      Yes, gargray, they do run this country.

    • JSquercia

      I have ALWAYS felt that Paulson LET Lehman fail was because they were Goldman’s competitor . I don’t think he anticipated the reaction

  • CPANewYork

    I beleive that we are headed for a revolution, because the rich guys like Blankfein refuse to be reasonable. They aren’t satisfied with the ill-gotten riches that they have. They want more and because the economic pie is getting smaller, that more has to come from the middle class and the poor.

    I’m not sure when the revolution will come and how violent it will be, but given the pace of the decline of the middle class and poor and the ascension of the rich, I think that it will come in the next fifty years and I think that it will be violent.

    What will come after that? I think that it will be a reprise of the “Dark Ages” that came to Europe immediately after the fall of the Roman Empire to the Vandals.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/5CIVDGYWW7DUAQSXPXXAJQWM4Y kinklu

      Your prognosis is so close to mine that it’s scary. I don’t think it’ll take the next 50 years either, based on the rate of change in the past. I think we can still change but I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it.

    • tobewan

      Actually, CPA, what will come after the anarchy ( you call revolution), Scripturally symbolized by fire, the incoming welcomed universal empire of Christ will take full-sway, bringing sense and relief to all, and it doesnt look like 50 years away. Setting a time limit for what is intentioned, predicted, and promised by the Creator, is guessing. We are in the “Time of Trouble, such as never before, and never will be again.” Our continuing prayer “Thy kingdom come, Thy Will be done,” will be answered, is not too far future, as current events give indication of leading thereto.
      The ONLY and BEST answer to current trouble is HIS kingdom, administered through His Son. Meanwhile, be observant ant prayerful. Righteousness will prevail.

    • JREX_TheRexReport

      Distress among nations, wars and rumors of wars… earthquakes everywhere! Even if they saw a miracle, they would not believe.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/C22AJV5GXSF4QE3YJY5IGBTULU TSB

    All these wars and political plumbs must be paid, so follow the money, we know who has it…………lump all the cash together and start a 25% rate over the cost of living, no exemptions, no deductions, not exceptions. Abolish the current, complicated tax system that doesn’t work, except to help the wealthy. Fair enough?

  • SeekingOut

    That’s why I don’t bother to look at these stations…..not even CNN, except for a very few specific programs. Either they carry the agenda of their conglomerate owners or try to stay on the good side of their guests (in order to have them available for future interviews) by not asking the hard questions or not challenging them.

  • JSquercia

    Let’s not forget that Goldman Sachs benefitted MIGHTILY from the bail out of AIG and the fact that AIG paid 100% on the Credit Default Swaps that Goldman had . they could have been made to settle on less than 100% in exhange for being bailed out

  • JSquercia

    Scott here’s a CLUE Blankfien is NOT universally admired in fact quite the opposite . This is head of a firm that together with John Paulson ripped off its customers by creating CDOs designed by them to fail ,selling them to unsuspecting customers while they bet against them .That was what the SEC fined them for IMO both parties should have been CRIMINALLY prosecuted for FRAUD . So according to BlankLloydfein his firm does NOT have a fiduciary responsibility to its customers . All I know is if that crap happened on the streets instead of the Suites Lloyd would have earned himself a BEAT DOWN .

  • howa4x

    CBS has become a puff ball new network. I remember how Pelley threw Romney puff questions and never dug into off shore accounts, like why he created them or when did he cash in. Maybe Goldman has a majority stake in CBS and throws its weigth there. The problem is our society where we annoit winners who make millions and disparage loosers who are getting entitlements and subsidys. We claim to be a religious country and the right wing who claim to be Christians, rail against pre marital sex and abortion but keep silent about the growing gap between the 1% and everybody else. What would Jesus do in this situation?The middle class whose wages were flat for 8 yrs under Bush saw the income of the richest 1% jump an astonishing 256% . We now have the largest income inequality in the world, and republicans can stand there with a straight face and say these people should not have to sacrifice one penny to close the deficit that they helped to create. The deficit was a republican creation, and happened when Bush 2 engaged in 2 unfunded wars ,which helped out investors on wall st the most since all the weapons companies are publically traded, Haliburton which got a 6 billion no bid contract, and the unfunded tax cut, worth 1 trillion.. Yet here we find Lloyd Blankfein wringing his hands about how dangerous that deficit is and to solve it we sould curtail the recipients of their meager SS and medicare. Not the beneficiaries like him mind you. They are above reproach. Remember they are the job creators,except that they didin’t create any. People like that Wall st tycoon Romney though it was more profitable to ship manufacturing jobs to China and India where people were forced to work 16 hrs a day for less than minimun wage we pay here, in hazardous conditions, and he is a bishop in his Church. In fact 2.6 million jobs left America during this period, so the job creation mantra of the republicans is a myth. Now it’s time for the wealthy and their puppet Grover Norquist to pay up for the sins they perpurtrated against this country and to shoulder the burden that they created, and not make the middle, lower middle, the elderly and the poor bear the brunt of this. It is time to fight for all the people instead of the priviledged few.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1118543425 Robin O’Brien

    It’s time to throw those greedy folks under the bus!!!…..

  • jarheadgene

    Did I miss something…did Rupert Murdoch buy CBS? Give me a break….more of what RYAN and ROMNEY were trying to sell…..Doesn’t matter who is the salesman, 53% of America isn’t buying it.

  • tobyspeeks

    I was finished with NBC about two years ago after they jumped on Scott Walker’s bandwagon labeling his detractors as violent and chaotic protesters with no regard for personal safety or property, now it seems CBS is out the window too. The little amount of time I spend watching the idiot tube I’ll watch old movies and reruns on Netflix. My news will come from a cornucopia of worldly online news outlets and Jeff Daniels from The Newsroom.

    • Dol5

      I also gave up CBS, NBC and ABC for better reporting on other stations. The big three couldn’t even get the weather report right most of the time! And all they really reported was the sports, and way too much talk about the entertainment industry!

      • viewfromtheleftcoast

        it seems the big three are owned by the richest of the rich corporations, what else can be expected??

  • patuxant

    Anyone on Social Security could see the flaws in Blankfien’s assertions that people collect more payments than they put into the system. The math doesn’t add up does it folks? And this guy is a banker? No, oh, no…he is a thieving crook! He brings shame to anyone who calls themselves a capitalist. Get him out of our faces. And while we are at it, get rid of “interviewers” who can’t ask challenging questions!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DPY5ADXTDUGABOL7TPUJQEP5YE JOAQUIM

    Why don’t we stick some of these birds in jail?

  • Mimi2kool

    “Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.” Mark Twain said it and it was true then and is still true to this day.

  • charleo1

    Since the historic economic slide in the fall of 2008, Americans have essentially heard two
    explanations as to the cause, or causes of this financial tsunami that washed away our
    homes, and savings, and shook the very foundations of faith we have in our institutions,
    and ourselves. Whether one is inclined to see the recession as a result of big government,
    high taxes, burdensome regulations, and a population that expects too much, and is unwilling
    to make the necessary sacrifices a global economy demands. Or, you clearly see the
    problem as a consequence of the growing wealth disparity between the uber-rich, and everyone
    else. A system skewed, and corrupted by the access, influence , and the power of money.
    A Nation dominated by multi national behemoths. Not only too big to fail, but too big to tax,
    too big to regulate, and too big to break up, or even stop the consolidation, that has eliminated
    millions of jobs, and competition in core industries. Energy, healthcare, transportation. With the one exception of placing American labor in direct competition with third world workers being
    paid a few cents per hour.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000154227782 Bart Grossman

    We need a hunting season for plutocrats. I’d like to see Blankfein’s head mounted on the wall of some well armed tea bagger.

  • emadis41

    Blankfein can refer to Reagan, his fiscal god, who said “SS is not part of the problem, SS does not add to the budget deficit”
    We, the recipients of the SS and Medicare, paid our does, did he?

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.j.parker.330 David J. Parker

    We in Canada also believe in fairy tales told by plutocrats but we have nothing on the USA. I guess the majority see through the mythology but such a large number who eat it up. Maybe it says something about your education system, your value system or even your ability to self delude???

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

    I have always wondered why more white collar crime is not prosecuted in our country.I guess money really does talk doesn’t it?

  • onedonewong

    And yet the great humanitarian and guy who wants everyone to pay their fair share own income tax was 19% with no deductions since the us taxpayers pay for even his grannies food and travel Thank you barak!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/martin.carlson.31 Martin Carlson

    This guy should be beheaded with a dull stone.

  • jstsyn

    Where is this guy from? Did he learn this nonsense growing up in America? He and his kind belong in jail before they do any more harm. Tax some sense into him. History proves that when the rich are taxed heavily they produce more rather than sitting back with too much time on their hands to create mischief.

  • JREX_TheRexReport

    Be careful to not get too successful. If you do, all of your irresponsible acquaintances will call you a capitalist, and demand that your wealth be redistributed.

    Come to think about it, this kind of thinking is certain to keep anyone from trying to work too hard in the future. Just one question: who is going to pay the bills?

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