California Democrats install “fearless girl”-inspired statue on roof

“Persist,” modeled after Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl,” atop party HQ in Sacramento

Last year, public opinion was split over a symbol of feminism that turned out to be a symbol of corporate power. Of course I am referring to Hillary Clinton. But the Democratic candidate for president found a robust analog in Fearless Girl, a statue of a five year-old defying Wall Street’s iconic charging bull. That statue was nice, right? It encouraged young women to be strong, and perhaps it inspired adult women working in the financial district to carry a little of that defiance into their traditionally male-dominated workplaces. It seemed like art was finally improving people’s lives, but then we found out that it was a marketing stunt by State Street Global Advisors. Here’s State Street Executive VP Lynn Blake:

“We placed the Fearless Girl there to be a partner to the bull, to represent the power of women. We certainly never expected her to be a challenge…It was not really about the social or political issue, it was absolutely about the investment issue and the benefits of having women in the corporate world.”

Ah yes—the power of women not to challenge the corporate world, but to partner with it. Along with their expressed opinion that “the image of the girl would be more relatable than one of an adult woman,” comments like these suggest that State Street’s commitment to feminism might be problematic. Even if you regard Fearless Girl as a net good, its complications leave a bad taste in the mouth. But one mouth remains as ready to partner with the bull as ever: the California Democratic Party’s. On Friday, CADEM unveiled its own variation of Fearless Girl called She Persisted, which now stands atop its San Francisco headquarters.

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Friday links! It’s only fair edition

Senator Randy Paul (R–KY) invites you to watch him take a dump.

Senator Rand Paul (R–KY) invites you to watch him take a dump.

After children have lost their other innate abilities—when they can no longer recognize facial expressions or manipulate objects, but instead swipe feebly at whatever images they hope to change—they will still have a keen sense of what’s fair. Fair is I get what you get. If you are, for example, one of a numerical minority of Americans whose parents were legally kept as slaves five generations ago, and you are twice as likely to be born into poverty and roughly one fifth as likely to successfully hail a cab, it’s unfair that I don’t get to say the n-word. I thought racism was supposed to be over, but here we are giving people special privileges. Today is Friday, which is totally unfair to Thursday, when you think about it. Won’t you forget where we came from with me?

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Too big to punish?

Charles Holliday, Chairman of the Board of Bank of America

The City of Baltimore has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, alleging that banks deprived the city of millions in investment income by conspiring to fix the London interbank offered rate. Stay with me. Like all aspects of banking except robbery, the Libor is extremely boring. It is the benchmark interest rate at which banks loan money to one another, and it provides the basis for interest calculations on a variety of investments, loans and other financial instruments. When the Libor goes up, banks pay more for cash flow loans, and some investments yield more. When it goes down, banks pay less and some investments yield less. According to Peter Shapiro, an advisor to Baltimore and other municipal investors, “about 75 percent of major cities” have lost money due to Libor manipulation.

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