Who Rules America?

Who Rules America: An Investment Manager’s View on the Top 1%

A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules.

I’m not sure if this is news for anyone. However, it’s interesting to see someone break it down.

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4 thoughts on “Who Rules America?

  1. Thanks for this. A very interesting article.

    I don’t have a problem with large wealth (though acknowledge it is a temptation to be guarded against). But money is not intrinsically evil. My concern is that it is not those producing the most for others who are so wealthy, rather those that provide a questionable service or products, if they do at all.

    It is true that banks provide a service that should be paid for, but many of there services are incredibly cheap in the information age yet they charge obscene amounts. For example foreign money is bought and sold at different rates as well as a surcharge being added. It would be interesting to know the profit per transaction (are there are millions) and whether there is adequate competition or just an oligopoly with price fixing?

  2. I think currency exchange is one of those areas in which people with direct access to the market and up-to-date information can have a large profit margin. On the other hand, if there is too much volatility, they can get burned.

    The most useful part of the article, to me, was the point that many of “the rich” are not really all that secure financially, or even living at an extraordinarily high standard of living. They are more like upper middle class, especially considering that they are probably involved in earning their income or living on a fixed (although relatively high) income.

    The really rich, though, are living in a completely different world, especially with regard to politics.

  3. Quite possibly. Though I think Forex trading morally dodgy. Unproductive, thus if you do make money, it is only at the expense of others losing theirs.

    But I was thinking more about the banks getting a cut from the man exchanging his cash for foreign currency. Visit Canada or Mexico and use their currency, or purchase internationally. The bank or Visa will have different rates they buy and sell. One could argue the margin compensates for the service, though I suspect the margin far more than compensates. Then they also charge a surcharge for the service. Almost certainly why Amazon bills me in my own currency, so they can keep the cut the banks were getting.

    I know those involved in sales who wish to arrange finance for everyone as the returns from the financial repayments far exceed the item.

    I agree about the mildly rich comment, though am familiar with the scenario. Workers and producers. There are the benefits of less financial woes, and being able to be generous, especially if they live well within their means. But not other-worldly status of the extremely rich.

  4. I always thought there was something fishy about currency exchange when I lived in Europe in the pre-Euro days. It wasn’t unusual to find an exchange rate three times higher on the black market, although that may have had something to do with the duty-free shops only taking dollars.

    Financing plans are a huge scam. I once applied for a job with a finance company and the hiring manager laid it all out for me in the job interview, how they do certain tricks to get poor people to default so they can collect late fees and then refinance them at higher interest rates. Either he was drunk or he assumed that the company I worked for was also doing such practices.

Instigate some pointless rambling

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