Saturday, 15 November 2014

Occupy London: Mayfair tour

I took an Occupy London tour of Mayfair this weekend. It was good, though a little bit unfocussed (which unfortunately is a criticism that can be levelled at "Occupy" in general). In particular, I was hoping for more lucid description given on what hedge funds and private equity firms actually do, and who benefits from their activities, and at the expense of whom.

I have worked for a private equity firm for nearly six years, and I know there are many valid criticisms of the industry. I think the tour needed to give more simple detail on the kinds of activities that such companies engage in, and their effects on society, instead of going off on relatively unrelated tangents of arms sales bribery and public relations companies.

It was a tour worth going on, but definitely more focus and detail required for it to be truly educational. (And I was quite disappointed that we didn't go past my company.)

Carlyle Group building.

The guides.

George Bush senior, who was an advisor to the Carlyle Group.

Talking about short selling. (Which was promoted here as a cause of the financial crash, though I am not sure I would agree with that.)

Outside the office of the front company responsible for bribes to Saudi officials during the Al Yamamah arms deal.