Writing about the French revolution, John Kenneth Galbraith observed:

“People of privilege will always risk their entire destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged feel also that their privileges, no matter how egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.”

    –“The Age of Uncertainty”, p.13

With economy posting its worst growth figures since 1982, Maureen Dowd is irate at the former masters of the universe who refuse to surrender any material part of their advantage even as their universe–and ours–crumbles:

In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC, Thain used the specious, contemptible reasoning that other executives use to rationalize why they’re keeping their bonuses as profits are plunging.

“If you don’t pay your best people, you will destroy your franchise” and they’ll go elsewhere, he said.

Hello? They destroyed the franchise. Let’s call their bluff. Let’s see what a great job market it is for the geniuses of capitalism who lost $15 billion in three months and helped usher in socialism.

Then the topic arose of Thain spending a million dollars to redecorate his office even as profits were plunging:

Bartiromo pressed: What was wrong with the office of his predecessor, Stanley O’Neal?

“Well – his office was very different – than – the – the general décor of – Merrill’s offices,” Thain replied. “It really would have been – very difficult – for – me to use it in the form that it was in.”

Did it have a desk and a phone?

How are these ruthless, careless ghouls who murdered the economy still walking around (not to mention that sociopathic sadist Bernie Madoff?) – and not as perps?

Bring on the shackles. Let the show trials begin.

And the guillotine be erected.

I’d mind them risking “their entire destruction” very little, if they weren’t risking mine into the bargain.