Wall Street's secret fraternity of pathetic narcissists

Wednesday, March 5, 2014   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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Never let it be said that the überrich bankers of Wall Street are too uptight to get down.

A recent article by reporter Kevin Roose reveals that some 200 of the elitist financial tycoons turn into party animals at least once a year. The occasion is the annual black-tie induction ceremony of Kappa Beta Phi, a secret Wall Street fraternity dating back to the 1929 crash that caused the Great Depression.

Roose waltzed right into the St. Regis Hotel ballroom a couple of years ago to behold the madcap event. Top dogs from JPMorgan Chase, Black Rock, Citigroup, AIG, and other Goliaths were munching on foie gras and laughing uproariously at silly skits, bad musical parodies, and dirty jokes performed by 21 younger Wall Streeters being initiated into the billionaires frat group. Adding to the gaiety, the inductees had to dress in drag, wearing wigs and gold sequined gowns. The bankers' idea of hilarity included sexist and homophobic jokes about Hillary Clinton and Rep. Barney Frank, a hedge fund honcho dressed in ragamuffin, tie-dyed clothes to represent the 99 percent, and various songs bragging about the bailout Wall Street got from sad sack taxpayers.

As Roose put it, the whole evening "amounted to a gigantic middle finger to Main Street." The irony is that these are the pampered titans of finance who've lately been wailing that they should get more respect from the general public. One of the chief whiners has been billionaire speculator Wilbur Ross, who has complained that, "the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons."

Picked on? The word you're looking for, sir, is "saved." But rather than offering a thank-you, Ross was the "Grand Swipe" of Kappa Beta Phi who presided over the gala mocking the very public that saved the whole pathetic bunch of Wall Street narcissists.

"One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: what I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society," www.nymag.com, February 17, 2014.

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