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Taxpayers Subsidize Richest Americans

The NYT reports that several hedge fund managers took home over a billion dollars in pay last year. It says, “Combined, the top 50 hedge fund managers last year earned $29 billion.” Interesting that the $29 billion figure almost exactly matches the $30 billion bailout of Bear Stearns. It’s more than a coincidence.

The hedge funds don’t really do much useful. They don’t make anything; they don’t start businesses. They don’t even pretend to make businesses more efficient, as private equity funds claim to do. They are basically gambling institutions, betting on various, esoteric market fluctuations. So, when they win, somebody else loses, because they are not creating wealth; they’re just taking somebody else’s wealth. So, the winners made $29 billion and the losers got bailed out to the tune of $30 billion by the taxpayers. The taxpayers are contributing to the unprecedented transfer of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the super rich.

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