The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

A billion and-a-half dollars a year
– for doing what?

Jul 10, 2006

Alpha magazine printed the salaries of the top 26 hedge fund managers.

James Simons, the head of Renaissance Technologies, got a salary of 1.5 billion dollars last year. That comes to $171,000 an hour for every hour of the year. T. Boone Pickens got 1.4 billion dollars for running BP Capital Management. George Soros of the Soros Fund got 840 million dollars.

What are these small, little known companies doing that they can reward their executives with so much wealth? They are speculating! That’s it. The ordinary Wall Street investment banks claim they bring capital together, helping businesses invest in order to produce goods and services and thus create jobs. In fact, this is only an insignificant part of what they do, and it’s overshadowed by the way they rip off the rest of society.

But hedge funds can’t even claim that. They are pure speculators who buy and sell, trying to make ever more money. They are a parasitic growth on society, sucking out wealth, creating nothing and simply engorging a few leeches at the top. They are one more revolting symptom of capitalist society wasting away with disease.