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I like CNBC's Mark Haines, anchor of "Squawkbox". I used to watch these guys every day, and Haines was a seemingly fairminded, knowledgable, and likable guy. Watch this 1:30 segment where Mark Haines and Democratic representative, Brad Sherman(D-CA), duel over taxing AIG bonus babies...
Mark Haines, mistakenly in my opinion, asked this question..."And what do the people on Main Street know about running a financial system?"
Brad Sherman hits the obviously large softball...."What do AIG executives know about running a financial system? They only know how to destroy one."
Haines' question is the question of an un-self aware elitist. He deserved the verbal slap-question Sherman delivered. That arrogant, elitist attitude dominated the back and forth....
Haines: This is witch-huntery. I'll be perfectly honest with you.
Sherman: We don't have to hunt the witches. We know who they are.
Haines: You and people who share your opinions seem to think, you know, let's hold salaries on Wall Street to $100,000. Do you have any idea what Wall Street would look like if you do that? All the business would go -- all the business would go overseas, that's the bottom line.
Sherman: ...for you to assume that Wall Street is acting in the national interest flies in the face of recent reality.
Haines, a nice guy, simply cannot comprehend that the industry he "reports" on every day.....has been proven to be filled with high level executives no different from any other street-level, sleazy, greedy, incompetent, bunch of con-artists.
Why, do you have any idea what would happen to Wall Street if salaries were lowered?
The followup question should have been....What happened to Wall Street WHILE all these executives were cashing their multi-million dollar bonus checks? That's right.
Haines, and he ain't the Lone Ranger, has blinded himself with his own industries' b*llshit. By his questions and answers to Sherman, the "Squawkbox" host gives us a case study in authentic elitism.
Haines actually believes that the financial industry that his network shills for shakes and moves our economy. The ethos of Haines' comments and questions is unavoidable.....the financial industry is not just some ordinary industry, it's special, unique, irreplacable, unmatched in any other industry..and therefore deserving of all privileges and entitlements. Main Street, full of ignorant unwashed masses from other industries, couldn't possibly comprehend Wall Street's singular importance to the nation nor the sophisticated and complex "work" that is performed there. Serfs be gone.
Let's look at a chart,....
What the chart shows me is that the bigger the financial industry grows as a share of gross domestic product, the closer our nation comes to a Depression. The same industry that Mark Haines acts all defensively elitist about.
But it's even worse than that.....
In the early 1980s the share of the financial sector in both, corporate value-added and profits in the American economy, was about 5 to 6 percent. The share of financials in value added has steadily increased and has reached about 8 percent in 2006-2007. The share of profits, however, climbed to reach an extraordinary 40 percent and more!
As the irreplacable and elite financial industry took a bit more of a share of the nation's GDP over the last 20-some years, they've also taken 8-10 times more of the nation's profits. Valuable to themselves or to the nation?
Somehow....electronic trading having a lot to do with it.....Wall Street has become celebrated as the location of Giants. Not the football Giants. Masters of the Universe Celebrity Giants. Larger than life. I suppose it's all about the "branding" thing. Repeated often enough, anything can become conventionall wisdom. In reality, the only worthwhile good the financial industry serves is lending money to the real movers and shakers in our country. Small business loans, home loans, student loans, and the like. Savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, and the like.
Instead, the Masters, with people like Mark Haines, Jim Cramer, and Rick Santelli cheering loudly from the media sidelines, have proven that their only worthwhile good is in enriching themselves through risky money schemes that lead the nation into economic ruin.
"Do you have any idea what Wall Street would look like if you do that? All the business would go -- all the business would go overseas, that's the bottom line, " said Haines.
'Get those passports ready,' says The Reverend.
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