Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of GMO, which manages $102 billion, is out with his January 2010 quarterly letter, which uses the term "bloodsucker" to describe his colleagues in the financial industry. "Finance was 3% of GDP in 1965; now it is 7.5%. This is an extra 4.5% load that the real economy carries. The financial system is overfeeding on and slowing down the real economy. It is like running with a large, heavy, and growing bloodsucker on your back. It slows you down," he writes. "Beware the financial-industrial complex. They are eating your lunch. (And to be honest, I've eaten more than my fair share. It was a good lunch.)" Mr. Grantham writes that his comments are a summary of his arguments in a debate sponsored by the Economist, a video of which is embedded below. When President Obama is calling the bankers "fat cat" and comparing them to suicide bombers, "bloodsucker" may not attract much of a response, though when the New York Times's Maureen Dowd used "blood-sucking" in reference to a historically Jewish bank at least the New Jersey Jewish News ran an op-ed piece calling a foul. Thanks to reader R. for sending in the tip about the Grantham letter.
Jeremy Grantham on Bloodsuckers