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<i>Fortune</i>'s Stanley Bing

Fortune's Stanley Bing

Posted: January 22, 2010 01:36 PM

America vs. Wall Street: ¿Quien Es Mas Macho?

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Ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to rumble.

In one corner, weighing in at several trillion pounds, much of it in debt, is the vast, dissatisfied, embittered, jealous, angry American public. It's mad as hell and it's not going to take it any more. Assisting in this corner is the President of the United States, who recently got the message from Massachusetts, and the aged, cauliflower-eared veteran, Paul Volcker, playing the role usually reserved for the late Burgess Meredith. They're ready to smack down their opponent with extreme prejudice, and they've got the training, the will and the eye of the tiger to do it.

In the other corner, weighing in at billions and billions of dollars in bonus money alone, is Wall Street. Never underestimate this perpetual contender, even though it has gained a lot of weight over the years and now is as big as a house, barely able to carry around all the fat in its head, let alone its ample mid-section. This seasoned battler has been in the ring before and always come out on top, even when the winds seemed to be against it. Always fiercely determined to be the last one standing, with a variety of Republicans, blue-dog Democrats and practiced lobbyists in its corner, Wall Street will do anything it has to do in order to win. Opponents have to be prepared for the low blow, the rope-a-dope, the thumb in the eye, and the occasional sneaky side-deal between legitimate rounds.

Right now, oddsmakers seem to be favoring the guys in the red, white and blue. This particular analyst is not so sure.

My money is on the guy in the pinstriped shorts.


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