04.28.14

Where did the The Aluminum Can Man go?

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 2:23 pm by George Smith

From 2012, an interview with one of the founders of Bain Capital, on a book that he and the interviewer thought might rise to the very top, a vituperative argument that inequality was good.

The NYT:

Ever since the financial crisis started, we’ve heard plenty from the 1 percent. We’ve heard them giving defensive testimony in Congressional hearings or issuing anodyne statements flanked by lawyers and image consultants. They typically repeat platitudes about investment, risk-taking and job creation with the veiled contempt that the nation doesn’t understand their contribution. You get the sense that they’re afraid to say what they really believe. What do the superrich say when the cameras aren’t there?

With that in mind, I recently met Edward Conard on 57th Street and Madison Avenue, just outside his office at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he helped build into a multibillion-dollar business by buying, fixing up and selling off companies at a profit. Conard, who retired a few years ago at 51, is not merely a member of the 1 percent. He’s a member of the 0.1 percent. His wealth is most likely in the hundreds of millions; he lives in an Upper East Side town house just off Fifth Avenue; and he is one of the largest donors to his old boss and friend, Mitt Romney.

Unlike his former colleagues, Conard wants to have an open conversation about wealth. He has spent the last four years writing a book that he hopes will forever change the way we view the superrich’s role in our society. “Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong,” to be published in hardcover next month by Portfolio, aggressively argues that the enormous and growing income inequality in the United States is not a sign that the system is rigged. On the contrary, Conard writes, it is a sign that our economy is working. And if we had a little more of it, then everyone, particularly the 99 percent, would be better off. This could be the most hated book of the year.

Not hated, but ignored although the author, on various pages, seems to have planted the idea it was a great seller.

On Amazon, 23 one-star reviews, all rather well written. Check used prices for a chuckle.

Edward Conard, who you still don’t know, last seen going down with HMS Romney.

Do read the tortured discussion of how his investments improved the aluminum can and, thereby, the price of soda pop for the rest of us.

“I worked with the company that makes the machine that tapers that can … That means the economy can produce more cans with the same amount of resources. It makes every American who buys a soda can a little bit richer because their paycheck buys more.”

Blessed are the job creators, they can always hire way more waiters.

1 Comment

  1. Ted Jr. said,

    April 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Aluminium cans – right up there with ‘trickle down economics’ as a popular misconception/ commonly held delusion