A crazed MassPirigian Marxist seems to be impersonating our own JeffZ on EphBlog.

[I]t [John Stewart’s criticisms of CNBC] was really a much deeper (and justified) critique of an entire industry (wall street and supporters in the media) pushing an idea of quick, easy, illusory gains to an unsuspecting public, when in reality, the only ones who actually made out like bandits were the hedge fund managers and so on who raped ordinary Americans’ 401k accounts to greedily and unapologetically line their own pockets through commissions from fictitious gains.

Huh? Just how did, say, Chase Coleman ’97 and Andreas Halvorsen ’86 rape your 401k account? If you are not an idiot, your 401k is in index funds and it is impossible for anyone to take your money, even those dastardly hedge fund managers, without actually hacking into the database at Vanguard. Even if your 401k is in some actively managed fund (which it shouldn’t be), the only way for hedge fund managers to get your money is for your manager — you know, the guy that you picked — to buy high and sell low. How is it Coleman and Halvorsen’s fault if your manager is stupid?

There was enough stupidity, greed and criminality in the world that we do not need to attack hedge fund managers for imagined crimes. Want to know who is really “rap[ing] ordinary Americans’ 401k accounts,” or at least their past and future tax revenues? Whoever is handing hundreds of billions of dollars to AIG. That would be first Bush and then Obama.

Moreover, most of the large criminality associated with “fictitious gains,” i.e., Madoff, had little if anything to do with “ordinary Americans.” Madoff and his ilk stole from rich people. That’s where the money is!

To the extent that you have a meaningful point, it is that real incompetence/criminality occurred at places like Fannie/Freddie/Bear/Lehman/Merrill/AIG and that ordinary Americans, including those invested in index funds, lost out as a result. True! But that had almost nothing to do with hedge funds. And, more importantly, the real crime is occurring now as hundreds of billions of dollars are being transferred from ordinary Americans to these miscreants and their counterparties. That’s change we can believe in!

[S]ome of the bubble could have been avoided. It is so easy for people to forget that Wall Street does not create wealth

Sure! Just look at all the countries in the world without financial markets. They are so rich . . .

Although Wall Street is not the most efficient imaginable system for allocating capital, it is better than all the others. If Jeff has an alternate solution for how to move money from savings to investments, he should describe it.

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