Wall Street bankers are like the kid who kills his parents and then asks the judge for mercy because he's an orphan. One of these kids complained to the New York Times that Occupy Wall Street shouldn't pick on them because "Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let's embrace it. If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services."
Well, the reason financial services are "one of the last things" we do in America is because Wall Street counseled corporations to offshore everything else in order to goose their share prices and quarterly earnings reports.
Leaf through the yellowing archives of business journals and you'll find endlessly repeated the story of a ruthless yet heroic CEO who scoured the realm for "inefficiency" (meaning American workers) and magically made share prices rise by lopping off the heads of so many superfluous employees.
Wal-Mart used Wall Street's cost-cutting catechism to teach suppliers to move production to China and meet its demand for everyday low prices. In another variation on the same financial scheme, vulture capitalists, M&A brokers and turnaround artists snapped up profitable companies, replaced working Americans with cheap foreign labor, sold off the "right-sized" enterprises and pocketed hefty fees along the way.
Under the direction of Wall Street, CEOs socialized the costs of slashing payrolls by throwing employees onto unemployment rolls and public assistance while privatizing the gains through higher share prices and by unloading the newly "lean and mean" companies on corporate suitors.
The financial flim-flam artists behind this wanton destruction of America's productive capacity called it "making companies more competitive." Lost in the froth of all the bubbles was the fact that Company A's former employees were also Company B's former customers who no longer had money to spend - as well as citizens who no longer paid taxes and homeowners who could no longer pay their mortgages.
All the while, we were all told it wasn't management's duty to give a hoot about anyone's livelihood but the shareholder's.
But now that the gimlet eye is on Wall Street, the financiers say it's our duty to care about their livelihood. But few do care, and it's understandable that makes the poor persecuted bankers feel a bit like this.