At a conference hosted in April 2015 by the real wolf of Wall Street Mike Milken (sentenced to ten years in prison for racketeering and securities fraud in 1989, fined $600 million, permanently barred from the securities industry), questioned by Sheryl Sandberg and former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin (former co chairman of Goldman Sachs who pushed for the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act), former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (former Chairman of Goldman Sachs, who made the big banks Too-Big-To-Fail when he was in government back in 2008) could not stop laughing admitting he worked hard on making inequality wider.
Here is the passage that caused everyone’s hilarity:
Meanwhile in the rest of the world, inequality continue to rise, even Credit Suisse admits it in their latest Global Wealth Report 2015. But according to the bank (who pleaded guilty and paid $2.6 billion in fines for conspiracy in tax evasion in May 2014) it has nothing to do with the actions of so-called public servants like Paulson or Rubin, nothing to do with a 30-year class war through the deregulation of finance, nothing to do with the rule of the rich, the oligarchy. It’s all about “talent, hard work and good luck”.
There are many reasons for the wealth differences observed across individuals. Some of those with low wealth are young and will have had little opportunity to accumulate assets. Others may have suffered business losses or personal misfortune, or may live in countries or regions where prospects for wealth creation are limited. Opportunities are also constrained for women or minorities in some countries. At the other end of the spectrum are individuals who have acquired large fortunes through a combination of talent, hard work and good luck.
And the result of this natural selection is the now well known global wealth pyramid which depicts in unequivocal terms the so-called 1% – or 0.7% to respect the Credit Suisse taxonomy. There you go: those talented hard-workers are 34 million on this planet and possess 45.2% of the global wealth, while the bottom 71% have to share 3% of the breadcrumbs.
Raymondo – 19 October 2015 – Paris
> Full video of the Milken Institute conference “The Global Economy: A Conversation With Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin“:
> Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2015