I recall hearing “greed… is good” spouted by Micheal Douglas’s sleazy character, Gordon Gekko (a lizard, get it?), in the ’80s movie Wall Street, but it seems that it’s gotten much worse since then. See The Wolf of Wall Street, possibly another movie to inspire youth to be disregard decency in pursuit of ever more excess. Sounds like a recently deposed presidential failure, no?
Eighties Wall Street raiders never went away, and they’re gaining ground, according to federal prosecutor Brendan Ballou, in the form of private equity firms. Ballou views such firms as a threat to the economic stability of the country. His recent expose, Plunder: Private Equity’s Plan to Pillage America, was published in May, and his New York Times op-ed the same month shines more light on the issue.
Listen in to hear more about the problems with private equity, problems that Ballou sees as aided by the US government.
For more about the dangers of private equity, listen to Terry Gross’s Fresh Air take on “How private equity firms are widening the income gap in the U.S.“