The New York Times Sheds a Tear for Wall Street Paydays

Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times' and CNBC's stealth apologist for Wall Street, Goldman Sachs et al slinks again --this time in a featured babble on the growing difficulties being encountered by the Wall Street folk to strike it big time.

Mr. Sorkin presents us with a laundry list of why the cascade of wealth that has been showered on Wall Street players is coming to an en end. That henceforward times are going to be tough with its implication that we should all be more charitable and understanding in our judgments of the errant behavior that has done so much to bring our economy close to its knees. He plaintively intones, "It is harder than ever to become one of the world's wealthiest individuals by working on Wall Street."

He then goes on to draw a distinction between the Wall Street Poobahs such as JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, Goldman's Lloyd Blankfein being the poorer cousins of the hedge fund crowd, a bit like saying they all belly-up to the same bar, but one set is drinking scotch, the other ordering gin.

Then he continues, brimming with a subtext of the unfairness of it all, that the Wall Street types haven't reached the herculean heights of wealth such as the likes of a Bill Gates. Without any qualifier, he thereby implies Bill Gates' billions were achieved by the same razzle-dazzle as the Wall Street players and their speculative excesses. No mention that Bill Gates earned his billions by his exemplar of American meritocracy, thanks to his entrepreneurial vision and courage, through which we have all realized richer lives -- this, in stark contrast to the largely self-enriching crony capitalism of Wall Street laid bare by the events of 2008 and thereafter.

In the meanwhile, working in the trenches, getting their hands dirty on farms, on assembly lines, tending the sick in emergency rooms, driving the trucks or buses, getting splattered with oil working on a rig, or whatever day to day undertaking in which they were engaged, clearly those below were too busy to take heed of Mr. Sorkin's concerns. Last year alone these hard working souls pulled in the following paydays from their one year's sweat and labor:

  • Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates,$3.9 Billion
  • Carl Icahn, Icahn Capital Management,$2.5 Billion
  • James H. Simmons, Renaissance Technologies Corp,$2.1 Billion
  • Kenneth C. Griffin, Citadel,$700 million
  • Steven A. Cohen, SAC Capital Partners,$585 million

If timing is everything, than the timing of Mr. Sorkin's article becomes ever so curious coming just one week after the publication of these humungous sums. There he was, as so often before, trying to steer our focus from the excesses of Wall Street's "Big Money" parade.