Friday, December 05, 2014

When the 1% stand to lose money, the Feds intervene

It's all over the news: Bill Gross, The Bond King, has resigned from PIMCO, the bond fund he founded and managed since 1971. While I did find the gory details of his departure to be interesting, I found another back story that isn't getting much press. What caught my eye in the Bloomberg article link in the first sentence of this post, is this:
"The government reached out to financial firms to ensure Gross’s departure didn’t destabilize the $100 trillion bond market."
Maybe I'm just a bit cynical here, but who, exactly do the Feds work for when they "reach out" like that? If the top 1% own more than half of all stocks and bonds, I think that statistic narrows the search for the answer to my question. I think it's a fair statement to say that the Feds are not thinking of the 80% at the bottom who own a mere 7% of all the wealth in the country when they reach out to big financial firms to prevent the bond market from falling apart when someone at the top resigns.

It's worth noting that Mr. Gross will not go hungry for his mistakes at PIMCO. Nor did he remain "unemployed" for very long. No, sir. He went to Janus for his next gig and he will still enjoy his digs in Newport Beach, California.

The government intervened not because a bunch of little people might lose jobs here. The government intervened in the market because very wealthy people might lose a great deal of money. As noted economist Dean Baker has pointed out, conservatives like to talk about a free market, but they are loathe to talk about the ways that public policy keeps the money flowing up.

Oddly, I don't hear anyone in Congress expressing concern about this intervention in the market.
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