What keeps people up at night?
For ordinary folks it tends to be ordinary things. You think you might have cancer. You fear your kid is going to screw up big-time and wind up pregnant and alone, in prison or dead. You fear an approaching hurricane; you have no money to evacuate nor can you rebuild if your home gets destroyed, as you couldn’t afford insurance.
For people with lots of money and power all those ordinary things really don’t bother them very much. The kid-based fears are still real, but you can buy their way out of most — but not all — of those. The others? Meh. Look at Steve Jobs, who got cancer and yet he both extended his life and finagled a transplant that nobody else could have managed, simply because he was rich. Yes, the cancer got him anyway but it would have gotten anyone else a hell of a lot faster. Hurricane? Into the G-IV we go and call the insurance company. There are a number of wrecked multi-million dollar yachts in SE Florida right now that could have been moved before the hurricanes came, but weren’t — they were left inadequately secured and were, as expected, destroyed. The (almost-certainly rich) owners basically sold their boats to the insurance company; it happens in every big storm and is why premiums spike like mad as soon as we are hit by one. In the worst case (e.g. Richard Branson) you hide in your wine cellar and then rebuild when it’s over — you have both insurance and money, never mind other places to live while your palace is restored to its former glory.
No, what these people fear is the sort of thing that just happened with Harvey Weinstein. Not so much that Harvey blew up, of course, but rather instead of being contained to him, it is spreading like the fire from a match tossed on a pile of dry straw in a barn. There are myriad people who have pulled the same crap for decades and suddenly the “social contract” (read: payoffs) that locked up the voices of all of those who were abused has been shattered. It’s a social mood shift and it brings the hammer down — hard.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-10-24.