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Anarchists Give Wealthy a Run for Their Money


A backlash against the high-life inspires attacks on the affluent.

One a night, almost every night, for six months.

This is the pattern Berlin police have been following since the spring in a bizarre series of arsonist attacks on area luxury vehicles, particularly Mercedes (DAI), BMWs, and Porsches.

With 170 luxury vehicles reduced to burnt-out auto carcasses, Berlin police are estimating conservatively that at least 93 of these attacks were politically motivated. Particularly in Europe, it's just the latest and most high-profile attack on symbols of wealth. And with the backlash against the rich -- and a Michael Moore film about Wall Street from Paramount Vantage (VIA) on the way -- it could just be the beginning.

These kinds of attacks on the financial industry and on icons of wealth were dismissed as fantasy when they were portrayed over a decade ago in Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club. But with the negative press following names like Madoff and American International Group (AIG), that fantasy has become a reality.

In an anonymous post at, a group in Halifax, Canada admitted to attacking the Cunard Street condo development in the city using rocks and paint bombs crudely made from light bulbs and duct tape. While there have been some attacks on the rich and wealthy in North America, this anarchist uprising has gained real traction in Europe over the past year.

Among the most famous was an March attack on the $5-million home of former RBS head Sir Fred Goodwin. Known as Fred the Shred by the British media, Goodwin made headlines when he left RBS -- but not without receiving an annual pension of roughly $1.15 million.

In a bizarre form of retribution, windows were smashed at Goodwin's home and his Mercedes S600 was attacked. A group calling itself Bank Bosses Are Criminals later took credit for the violence. Shocking as the attacks were, they were simply a prelude to the then-upcoming G20 conference in London.

While stories of London's Financial District being set ablaze in a series of arson attacks turned out to be a hoax, a number of interesting strike plans were uncovered leading up the G20's London Summit in April. They included turning off the lights at many of London's most iconic buildings and assaults on banks.

While some violent demonstrations did occur, the summit protests proved to be somewhat subdued. But with the recent admission to arson attacks on luxury vehicles in Mexico by a group calling itself the North American Earth Liberation Front, and German police warning of a return to the kind of Leftist terror attacks made famous in the 1970s, the risks and rewards of wealth could be shifting drastically.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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