A video titled Bankers—Masturbators of the Universe was posted on January 1, 2011 on both vodpod and YouTube. “Masturbators of the universe” is a pun on the term “master of the universe,” popularized by Tom Wolfe in the novel Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) to represent an investment banker.
“Masturbators of the universe” has been cited in print since at least January 2009, just after 2008’s financial crisis.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Master of the Universe, n.
2. a. (With capital initials.) A proprietary name for: one of a series of superhero action figures; a cartoon (or other) character based on one of these figures.
1982 Official Gaz. (U.S. Patent Office) 13 July 231/2 Masters of the Universe for toy figure.
b. A person who is exceptionally successful in business.
Coined by T. Wolfe with explicit reference to the action figures defined at sense 2a.
1987 T. Wolfe Bonfire of Vanities i. 12 He had picked up the telephone and taken an order for zero-coupon bonds that had brought him a $50,000 commission, just like that.‥ On Wall Street he and a few others‥had become precisely that. Masters of the Universe. There was‥no limit whatsoever!
1990 U.S. News & World Rep. 12 Feb. 19 Two masters of the universe step down.‥ The October, 1987, crash was a defining moment for two of Wall Street’s biggest names.
1998 N.Y. Mag. 20 July 7/1 The man making deals with Masters of the Universe called his ‘twentysomething major investors’ into his office to tell them that his big deal had fallen through.
2000 Barron’s 13 Mar. 5/1 Master of the Universe. That worshipful name once belonged to the investment banker. These days it more properly belongs to the venture capitalist.
Bridge and Tunnel Club Blog
Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
Masturbators Of The Universe
First the entire financial services industry collapses, then the skirt gets all uppity.
Bankers - Masturbators of the Universe
gildassapiens | January 01, 2011
Never, in the Field of Human Con-Tricks, was so Much Owed, to so Many, by so Few!
Claw Back the Bailout Trillions - Before it’s Too Late!
CalPERS Accuses Lehman of Fraud
Submitted by Leo Kolivakis on 02/08/2011 21:12 -0500
on Tue, 02/08/2011 - 22:53
I would pt Fuld, Dimon, Mozilo, Frank, Dodd, Bernanke and Geithner (and the rest of the Masturbators of the Universe) in an iron cage with 5 hungry boars (with tusks) AND 10 hyenas and put the whole scene on C-Span.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Wednesday, February 09, 2011 • Permalink