Alex Proud, a lifestyle columnist for the right-of-centre UK daily The Telegraph, has an incendiary and essential column about the end-game of financialized capitalism, which, having destroyed the lives of working class people, has now set its sights on the middle class, as private equity firms buy up productive businesses, saddle them with debt, cash out huge dividends, and leave the businesses to collapse.
The hedge-fund "job creators" have have Proud incensed are Stefano Quadrio Curzio of BC Partners, which bought up the UK phone-store chain Phones4u for £200m in 2011, borrowed £205m against the business, paid the investors a £223m dividend and crashed the business, putting 5,600 jobs in jeopardy, including many good, middle-class jobs.
Proud apologises for Thatcher's reforms, which paved the way for this kind of deregulated piracy, but says it's gone too far — still, he recognises that today's hedge fund raiders are the children of the Thatcher era, and that the plight of ordinary workers under the neoliberal reforms were just the precursor to what's happening to the middle class today.
All these guys care about is money. They don't care about society. They certainly don't care about jobs and they don't care about you.
OK, you might say, but this has always been going on. But it hasn't. This sort of utterly amoral screw-everyone capitalism has become much more prevalent in the last 15 years. Our financial elite is now totally out of control. They learned nothing from the crisis, except that the rest of us were stupid enough to give them a second chance. And, now, having plucked all the "low hanging fruit," they're destroying the middle classes for profit.
Why aren't the British middle-classes staging a revolution? [Alex Proud/The Telegraph]
(via Making Light)
(Image: Budapest riot, Cyphpunk, CC-BY-SA)