You’re the CEO, maybe in finance or in a venture-capital firm, paid hundreds of times the average worker’s wage with full benefits—one of those jobs that is expanding once again. A buddy wakes you up with a desperate call: he needs a large purchase of credit default swaps; you’re the only one; at least your own-account trades are doing well. He lent you $200 million last Christmas when you were scuffling; he’s one of the old country-club crowd who party together and look out for each other. If you say yes, you will probably create another financial crisis and might be bailed out again. On the other hand, the board of directors is probably going to increase your salary even if things slow down in another month or two. What do you do?
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The culture of wealth debate has finally arrived!
[with no apologies to Claude S. Fischer]