"Only Wall Street could put the economy at risk and it had an excellent reason to do so: profit.
It made huge profits in the build-up to the credit crisis and huge profits when it sold itself as “too big to fail” and received massive government and Federal Reserve bailouts.
Most of the serious economic damage the U.S. is struggling with today was done by the top 0.1% and they benefited greatly from it.
Not surprisingly, Wall Street and the top of corporate America are doing extremely well as of June 2011.
For example, in Q1 of 2011, America’s top corporations reported 31% profit growth and a 31% reduction in taxes, the latter due to profit outsourcing to low tax rate countries.
Somewhere around 40% of the profits in the S&P 500 come from overseas and stay overseas, with about half of these 500 top corporations having their headquarters in tax havens.
If the corporations don’t repatriate their profits, they pay no U.S. taxes. The year 2010 was a record year for compensation on Wall Street, while corporate CEO compensation rose by over 30%, most Americans struggled.
In 2010 a dozen major companies, including GE, Verizon, Boeing, Wells Fargo, and Fed Ex paid US tax rates between -0.7% and -9.2%. Production, employment, profits, and taxes have all been outsourced.
Major U.S. corporations are currently lobbying to have another “tax-repatriation” window like that in 2004 where they can bring back corporate profits at a 5.25% tax rate versus the usual 35% US corporate tax rate.
Ordinary working citizens with the lowest incomes are taxed at 10%.
A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system.
It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic."
If you do not belong to that group, sorry for you, you won´t make a lot of money.