This is one of those posts that starts with a nebulous thought or more like a grouping of thoughts that might have at least superficial linkages. The musings are currently so nebulous I can’t think of what to title it. So I apologize in advance if it is more rambling than usual.
As I was snuggled up with my electric blanket last night and looking for something to read, I was browsing for a new history book and I found one that covers the history of New York City after the Civil War and into the 20th century. The title had something to do with the rise of the moneyed power. I usually steer clear of things that I can tell from the title are heavily skewed to one side of the political spectrum to the other. But I was curious about what the reviews had to say. One reviewer talked about the intellectual history of the elite from the same period and brought up an idea that had slipped my mind: the belief in and practice of Social Darwinism connected with the industrial renaissance and the need for labor.
While I was reading that particular review, an anecdote about Kevin Warsh came to mind. I remembered reading that he is the husband of an heiress of the Este Lauder fortune; and incidentally, the story that she received a multimillion dollar disbursement from the trust appeared in the news either the day of or the day after Mr. Warsh’s infamous op-ed in the Wall Street Journal where he bashed QE and encouraged his former colleagues to stage a soft coup on Congress (my translation of the meaning – more about that here). The op-ed seemed out of place after Mr. Warsh had been silent throughout the economic turmoil only to come out about QE after it had been active for over a year. I didn’t do a post about the money his wife received because I thought I had said enough about Mr. Warsh, but I now wonder if perhaps I was mistaken. Even more, I wonder who might have been pulling his strings – and why.
I must seem sometimes like a manic depressant, or at the very least cynical well past my own good. But there has just been this nagging feeling, an impression that so little attentiveness is paid to the General Welfare that it takes a decade or more to correct monetary mistakes that took less than a year to make. And there is a very strong possibility that people who have long had far more than I as far as material means and don’t understand that they hurt themselves as much or more are in the middle of it all. I am left feeling downright pessimistic in regard to the state of humanity.
I’ve tried to encourage myself by thinking that just because the CEO of AIG appears on television and tells the audience that it is now the government’s job to ensure people like him don’t take risks they shouldn’t that it is, in no way, connected to the sorry state of affairs. It’s just one of those coincidental things that don’t mean anything other than he is a complete jackass bottom-feeder. But it doesn’t work very well considering the financial suffering I’ve seen and lived through over the last handful of years.
None of this is impressive at all when thinking about my childhood friend who lost her job, home, her family, and went for weeks without food in 2011 as I was helpless to do anything to ease her predicament. The memory of the heartbreak is still very fresh – and I really am at a loss about what to do with it.
PS: By the way, there will never be another Este Lauder product in my beauty arsenal ever again.
[UPDATE] This bit of information is now in the story about the Este Lauder granddaughters (I recall the first paragraph being there, but not the second):
Jane joined the company in 1996. She was promoted to global president and general manager of Estee Lauder’s Origins, Darphin and Ojon brands last year, according to a press release. She’s married to Kevin Warsh, a former governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, and, at age 40, is the youngest female billionaire in the U.S. behind Lynsi Torres, the 31-year-old owner and president of the In-N-Out restaurant chain.
Richard Parsons, the former Time Warner Inc. chairman, serves as trustee for the siblings. He approved the transfer of 7.6 million shares on Wednesday to a trust for the benefit of Jane Lauder, according to regulatory filings.
And here is reference to Richard Parsons as being a former Citigroup Inc. Chairman. My, how the world is small.
Mr. Warsh’s op-ed appeared in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, November 12 and the share transfer to his wife, Jane Lauder was approved on Wednesday, November 13 – Quid pro quo, no?