Rich People and Their Private Armies
Ezra Klein writes about the glee that Wall Street is expressing today over the Spitzer scandal and states:
The traders and the executives can hardly contain their glee, which really, really makes me want to see Spitzer survive. But it also underscores the idiocy of his actions. Corporate titans have lots of money and, presumably, lots of private investigators. It’s a bit bizarre that this was discovered by the Feds rather than used as leverage by an executive Spitzer wanted to regulate. I almost guarantee that the next politician to go against corporate America won’t be so lucky.
I honestly don’t know enough about Spitzer’s work in the area of white collar crime to comment on whether this Schadenfreude is justified or not. That said, I do have to honestly say that there seems to be some fervent belief in the American populace, both right and left, that the ultra-rich have armies of private investigators and thugs that they use to do their bidding to “intimidate their enemies.”
Here’s the thing about that–is this really a prevalent phenomonon outside of bad airport paperbacks or organized crime? This I ask of you, oh powerful communal brain that is the internet. Are there any examples of ultra-rich folks using P.I.’s to dig up dirt so that they can blackmail government officials? Inquiring minds truly want to know.