When the second triumvirate took over Rome after the death of Caesar, there was a need for a bunch of money to pay the troops and run the empire. So they issued proscriptions. They ordered the death of a couple of thousand of the richest folks in Rome and took all their money. Poof, budget problems gone.
Consider now Goldman Sachs, Citibank and the likes. Consider the greedy bastards who got us here.
The old days don’t look all that bad.