FINANCE

Rocket men self-doubt


The setting can be a bar or restaurant, but go to a football stadium with a corporate box. Hedges brush maki-roll closes their gills. Others drink alcohol. The host, who runs a trading desk at a bank, is interested in the match – weird. The total wealth of the room becomes close to the billion mark when a 28-year-old enters a drawn-out handsome.

A political assistant, say, or semi-famous writer, he is the poorest person on the guest list. His demand is also the highest. Some questions he is field thinking. Some have a clear excuse to meet him. Each guest will refer him to their wife after returning to their home (a). In her compressed flat, she would forget their existence.

Last week, Prince William, asked about the billionaire space race, joined the list of confused and frustrated. Why do the rich of the world give so much trouble to the sky? Megalomania cannot be blown away. Intellectual curiosity – in Elon Musk’s case, at least – plays a role. Pump-priming also contains a component of benefits that could turn into an existing import industry.

None of this, however, frightens traders secretly: annoying. None of them appreciate the length of time they will go to avoid charges. That a munshot is a bid for heavenly domination, I doubt. But it is, more precisely, a bid in our interest.

Consider the strange plight of a big wheel in most industries. You can buy anything but the material of your work annoys the general audience. You hire thousands but you pay less attention to your thoughts than the playwrights of the past (see events after 9/11). At some point, the gap between your wealth and yours – what do we call it? Cassette? – Starts to rank. That, if you will, is the problem with Soho House. One percent includes people who cannot join individual members’ clubs. There are hand-to-mouth graphic artists who are wavy.

It’s hard to attribute the insecurity of the rich, I know. It is more difficult to appeal for sympathy. But the result is all around us. Exciting memoirs, paying for a seat at the political table: Things that seem arrogant often come from the opposite emotion. They put more effort into being “just” commercialized by self-doubting people.

Jeff Bezos was on board the Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket when it launched on July 20, 2021. Reuters / Joe Skipper

It is natural to think that this urge is less intense in America, where entrepreneurs fear, than in Europe, where it is still possible to mint fortunes without any social gain. But I wonder. Where is the patronage of the business of “thought leaders”? Where, however, is bogus brainstorming given a further shift in Aspen? Not even enough money is made in the United States. Not when not expected to be interesting.

Looking back, the Rocket folks have always been working towards that goal: Jeff Bezos with the purchase of The Washington Post, Mask with Wrong-In-Depth Interview, Richard Branson with so much extroverted pursuit that it’s hard to remember what his core business is. Now space, with questions about its existence, has pushed the same project to the 9th degree. Every time, ego drives them. It is very imaginative to suggest that there is more work to be done like weakness.

There is no such thing as “elite”. That ugly tribe actually consists of two. There is a world of information and numbers, which means business, including money. The other is the world of symbols and ideas: politics, art, non-commercial law. Tech, with the pretense of the second group, belongs to the first. The media, although it targets mostly profits, belongs to the second. Advertising, presumably, can claim a border embrace. At the mixed dinner party, the business masses, aware of the grayness of their work and not always the best speakers, almost disappear. On holidays, in their well-to-do villas, they hand-down.

The mistake that can easily get your claim denied is to fail. It drives their dissatisfaction, yes, and best of all towards progressive politics. It drives the other side to heaven.

Email Janan janan.ganesh@ft.com

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