Hedgehogs

May 8, 2014

The fox knows many things. The hedgehog knows one big thing: that he earned a billion dollars last year. Yes, that’s about how much the top 25 hedge fund managers made apiece last year.

The name is funny. Hedge fund. Although not quite as new and edgy sounding as it was a decade ago ‘hedge fund’ still sizzles and crackles with the sound of crisp million-dollar bills. But who would have guessed? If you were to page through an old paper thesaurus looking for the dullest, drabbest name to call something, ‘hedge’ might have been what your index finger settled upon. Your index-fund finger! It’s all finanacial methaphors now!

And the dullest animal in the hedgerow? The hedgehog! Though let’s pause to consider the exquisite appropriateness of the name hedgeHOG in this context.

Anyway, we reward hedge fund managers so handsomely because we compensate people to reflect our values. Our current values are: making money! And to get a bit more granular here: specifically making lots and lots of money for: the already rich!

Fortunately, most of these vast fortunes are viewed by their owners as not so much a reward, but an opportunity. Did you see the interviews with these guys about the massive philanthropic plans they have for ‘giving back’ to the world that so stunningly compensated them? No? Me either.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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