In this article, we talk to John Brynjolfsson, Managing Director of Armored Wolf LLC, a global macro hedge fund. Previously, Mr. Brynjolfsson was a Managing Director with PIMCO, firm with in excess of $750 billion of assets under management. Mr. Brynjolfsson discusses the risks, opportunities and the future of the world’s economy—covering the range from inflation to interest rates, commodities to equities, and currencies to emerging markets
The industrial revolution created the archetypal businessman, characterised by their ruthless attitude towards commerce.
In a controversial paper, Jerry Bergman discusses the Robber Barons’ (a pejorative term used to describe businessmen in America) attitude to workers in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. He describes how, “The robber barons’ lack of concern for the social welfare of the community, and even their companies’ own workers, ruined millions of lives. Injuries on the job due to unsafe working conditions were a major cause of death and permanent injury for decades during this period. The yearly total of such deaths, injury and illness in the USA around 1900 has been estimated at around a million workers. Many steel mill foundry workers worked 12 hour shifts in 47°C heat for $1.25 a day. President Harrison said in 1892 that the average American worker was subject to danger every bit as great as soldiers in war.” He continues to state that, “…Human lives were considered so expendable by many capitalists that hundreds needlessly died laying railroad track alone. As one employer noted when asked to build roof protection for his workers, ‘Men are cheaper than shingles’.” In many parts of the [modern] world the behaviours of the US ‘Robber Barons’ is still apparent, seen even recently where, as Change.org reported “… After 28 workers were burned to death at an unsafe clothing factory in Bangladesh, tens of thousands of us from more than 70 countries called on companies buying from the factory to take responsibility.” Continue reading