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The interviews were carried out in the summer of 2020, both men looking back at what happened in late 2014, early 2015:
Interview recorded June 28, 2020: Roland* is a 47 year-old former Wall Street bond trader who currently heads a major private equity firm. He is over six feet tall, slim, handsome in a Northern European sort of way, with short white-blonde hair and a crisp diction that speaks of education and privilege.
He is a wealthy, powerful man.
“I’m not powerful for who I am, much less for the money I have,” he tells the interviewer. “My power, my privilege and my security come from how I am connected to the One Percent--which is not the ruling class, but rather a ruling class; one of several.
“How necessary I am, how useful I am to the One Percent ensures that I remain a member of the One Percent, and thus remain protected. I’m . . . a useful cog in a vital machine. A key member of a street gang. I’ve worked at all the [Wall Street] firms, I even did a stint at the Fed [Federal Reserve], and everyone in finance likes me. Even the ones who think I’m an asshole think I’m one of the gang--and this is crucial: I belong to my gang. And since my gang is powerful, I am powerful.
“You see we’re all gangs, here in America.