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Not populism but opposition

Chris Caldwell (3/31/09) makes several astute observations in this morning’s Financial Times, noting that what “looked like discontent with a slow economy is strating to look like opposition to a system.” The past justifications by financiers that their stratospheric salaries were appropriate because of their genius status now rings hollow to most people, except, perhaps, the financiers themselves. It may be that the compensation model for those in finance will never return to the levels enjoyed in the recent past. He also notes, perceptively, that the public’s tolerance for opacity has greatly diminished. We no longer trust the elite and want to know what they have done with our money and who is reaping riches at our expense. “Americans are beginning to view those who wrcked the financial system like the secret police in a former comunitst country.” Where this will all lead, no-one knows at present.

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