by Helen Buyniski
This may sound like old news, but the extent to which those firms have morphed into horrifically powerful entities with trillions of dollars under management – including, most likely, your pension or the retirement savings of someone in your family – capable of setting international policy with a mere yearly memo, remains stubbornly unacknowledged by millions. Perhaps for the sake of their sanity, they just can’t admit their retirement is in the hands of men who see nothing wrong with gambling away millions of Americans’ savings in precarious financial instruments just because they can. The kind of people who’d buy a boat with ill-gotten foreclosure gains, then spit in the face of those ex-homeowners by naming the boat ‘Su casa es mi casa’ (that’s ‘your house is my house’, for those not up on their grade-school Spanish.
Blackstone has also been buying up life insurance businesses, no doubt understanding that medical bills are the chief cause of bankruptcy in America – and bankruptcy itself is a stress-fuelled shortcut to an early grave. Even the history of the dead isn’t safe from the hungry tentacles of private equity – Blackstone bought genealogy site Ancestry.com last year, meaning (at least hypothetically, given the pattern of other tech firms in which Blackstone and its ilk own controlling shares) you could actually be deplatformed from your own family history (and perhaps given an outstanding genetic link with a cold-case murderer) if you say the wrong thing online.