The Way We Live Now: Wackily. What is life but risk by another name? We're betting our pensions! We're quitting Wal-Mart and Burger King and wearing crazy bedazzled shoes! We're living in style, for we all shall die! Soon.
Public pension funds had what we will facetiously describe as a "good" idea: they figured since they lost all that money when the markets collapsed last time, to make it up what they need to do is to increase the risk of their investments, so they can make more money and nothing bad will happen.
It's all part of our nation's newfound "Live it up, why the fuck not?" philosophy. We're wasting less money on Burger King and Wal-Mart, two of the leading refuges of losers. We're taking that cash we saved by forswearing Whoppers Junior and new auto air freshener varieties and instead buying $995 crystal-bedecked gold leather shoes bearing a huge dollar sign. They're not atrocious; dollar signs are now art, because they are merely a fantastic representation of a mythical beast.
Standing out is the new thing. It's not "hip" to work together. Look what happened last time we tried that: all our great private equity firms teamed up to take monstrous companies private in huge "club deals," and now, buddy, let's just say you wouldn't want to be caught up in a club deal. Not for all the brass in KKR's corporate lounge spittoon.