The New York Times's Joe Nocera has a column about Anthony Scaramucci, the hedge fund manager who asked President Obama when he was going to stop whacking Wall Street like a piñata. Mr. Nocera accuses Mr. Scaramucci of being "in denial." Mr. Nocera writes:
Greed, Mr. Scaramucci conceded, had infected Wall Street during the years leading up to the crisis — but he wouldn't acknowledge what seems patently obvious to most people: that those who gravitate to Wall Street are far less motivated by a desire to, say, supply capital to struggling start-ups than to get really rich.
Motivations are often complex or multifaceted. But people looking to "get really rich" have a lot of options. They can buy lottery tickets. They can try to start high-tech companies or restaurant chains or invent a new toys or become rock musicians or Hollywood actresses or real estate developers. Sure, people who go to work on Wall Street are motivated by a desire to earn a decent living and financial security, but so are people who go into management consulting, or who go to work at big law firms, or who go to medical school and go into certain specialties. Most people would rather be rich than poor. Mr. Nocera seems to be singling out those who work on Wall Street as more greedy than anyone else and faulting them for it, while citing not a scintilla of evidence to support that view. He's just taking another whack at the piñata. The whole column is worth a read as an example of the sweeping condemnations that Mr. Scaramucci was quite reasonably complaining about.