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Since Reagan’s, Bush’s, Clinton’s, and Bush’s serial deregulations of the financial services sector, however, bankers became fabulously rich. They called themselves the “Masters of the Universe.” They came to dominate contributions to politicians, and facilitated the takeover of most major US newspapers, all the while using debt as their mail tool to make money (burdening those newspapers with such debt that many are now going out of business because they can’t repay it). By 2005, fully 40 percent of all corporate profits in the US came from the financial services sector – a group of people who didn’t produce anything at all of value, nothing edible or usable, nothing that would survive into future generations. They invented fancy derivative “products” that they “sold” at high commission rates around the world so others could “make money with money.” In fact, they weren’t making money – they were taking money. Behavior that would have been criminal during the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations became “normal” and was even encouraged: more than half of all the graduates from many of America’s top colleges and universities went into finance so they could get in on the very lucrative scam.

Thom Hartmann (via azspot)