Under the Black Flag

Liberals With Money to Burn

Once upon a time the American Establishment enjoyed business paragons such as David Rockefeller, Daniel Ludwig, William S. Paley, Henry Ford II, not to mention Thomas Watson and his son Thomas Watson, Jr.  Toward the end of the 20th century, that old power elite had gone with the wind, replaced by people that Hilaire Belloc used to refer to as money-shufflers, hustlers who never created anything but employed a few secretaries while they bet on whether other people’s accomplishments would rise or fall in value.  It was and is a hell of a game, mostly done with mirrors, as people who don’t like to be sued call the stock-market manipulations of today.

Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, and their ilk were among the last to make big bucks by insider trading, but eventually got caught and sent to the big house.  The godfather of all crooks is, of course, Uncle Bernie Madoff.

The KO punch that took out the godfather of the crooks was the near-implosion of the financial system and the Great Recession that followed.  One “financier” who survived all of the above was one of the most disgusting people I have had the good luck never to have met, George Soros, a man whose vulgarity, venality, and loathsomeness deserves a Gogol or a Dostoyevsky for a biographer.  (Having said that, I once had dinner with Soros’s brother and sister-in-law, and found them both polite and congenial, as is...

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