I am not a huge fan of April Fools’ Day- given that a large part of my existence is reading and interpreting the news, I would hope you can imagine how frustrating it is to not know whether the stories are real or fake. So far, I’ve come across:
- A marriage proposal
- A fashion site that turned into a pets edition for the day
- A YouTube trick where you can turn videos into text – change the resolution from “360p” to “TEXTp” and see what happens
- An article about how Fenway Park is retiring Sweet Caroline, which I can only guess is a joke
- An e-card with the line “To avoid confusion, I/m waiting until tomorrow to tell you I’m pregnant”
So I am now hiding under the bed and waiting for this day to be over. Here’s a card that’s more appropriate for me:
Anyhoo…while under the bed, I came upon the following fun graphic, courtesy of Econompic Data:
What you see here is the income of the top five hedge fund managers plotted alongside the net income of some of the world’s largest corporations. Clearly I chose the wrong career path.
The original post makes a comment about the flow of capital from “productive means” to “goods for the rich.” The reality of the situation is that goods for the rich ARE productive, since making luxury yachts and planes and diamond-encrusted bottles of Cristal employs people in ways that other people are willing to pay for. A market-based economy is all about giving people what they are willing to pay for, not necessarily allocating resources to the “most useful” goods and services.
We just have to hope that not everyone is like Montgomery Burns:
Smithers: “What are you going to do with your million dollars?”
Burns: “I dunno…throw it on the pile, I suppose.”
I would hope that Mr. Burns would at least put his money in a bank account so that others could borrow it for productive uses.
Hedge fund managers aren’t really bankers, but I couldn’t help but think of this video made my students at Columbia Business School a few years ago: