Friday, 28 January 2011
What scares the rich and wealthy?
Here is a panel of Davos hacks fretting about the future.
James Dimon, head of J.P. Morgan , used the opportunity to whine about the treatment of banks.
"I don’t lump all media together….There’s good and there’s bad. There’s irresponsible and ignorant and there’s really smart media. Well, not all bankers are the same. I just think this constant refrain [of] ‘bankers, bankers, bankers,’ — it’s just a really unproductive and unfair way of treating people….People should just stop doing that."
I feel so guilty. Has the world been that unfair to bankers? Is it churlish to gently point out that Dimon wasn't talking about the iniquities of the world when J.P. Morgan received their double digit post-crisis pay increases last year.
Dimon also warned against any “socializing” of states’ debts, by involving other European Union countries in financing them. It could send out the wrong message on the need for fiscal discipline. “You have got to make sure that some are not piggy-backing on others”. It is a pity he didn't express this opinion during the financial crisis when the Banks were "socialising" their debts.
The panel also expresses that deeply seated fear of all rich folks; - population growth in developing countries depleting natural resources. Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alcoa, was particularly worried about the demand for cars in China. It is certain to expand, he warned, putting global pressure on steel and copper prices. Isn't it funny that the danger of excessively paid New York based CEOs depleting resources never gets the same attention at the Davos wealthfest.
Other fears frightening the Davos crew are debt defaults in the Eurozone, asset bubbles in China, and social unrest from the marginalized masses.
I am thinking of a word and it begins with the letter H.