Autobiography if you like. Slovinsky looked at me in 1912: 'Boundt haff you gno bolidigal basshuntz?' Whatever economic passions I now have, began ab initio from having crimes against living art thrust under my perception. (Ezra Pound, "Murder by Capital", SP, p. 200-1)
I'm not much for biography, actually. But in this case the date (i.e., pre-1920) is important. It situates Slovinsky's remark (his real name was Henry Slonimsky, an old classmate of Pound's, see also Canto 77/483) in Pound's "aesthetic" period, before Mauberley. We assume that Slonimsky had (accurately) noticed that Pound didn't take much of interest in politics at that time.
So, in 1933, Pound, who was now not only interested in politics but was also a declared fascist living in the Duce's Italy, phrased the question as follows:
What drives, or what can drive a man interested almost exclusively in the arts, into social theory or into a study of the 'gross material aspects' videlicet economic aspects of the present? (SP, 198)
That is a good question. The short is answer is that Capital turned out to be an utterly incompetent patron of the arts.
Pound says specifically that scarcity economics is to blame for the paucity of the "bureaucracy of letters"; I am sure we could add the labour theory of value. These theories were part of the "specific and tenacious attack on good art ... which has been maintained during the last forty years of 'capitalist, or whatever you call it', ci—or whatever you call it—vilization" (SP, 201).
Concretely, Pound blamed "maladministration of credit": "The lack of printed and exchangeable slips of paper corresponding to extant goods is at the root of bad taste" (SP, 199). He wrote this, like I say, in 1933:
There is no reason to pity anyone. Millions of American dollars have been entrusted to incompetent persons, whose crime may not be incompetence, but consists, definitely, in their failure to recognize their incompetence. I suppose no pig ever felt the circumscription of pig-ness and that even the career of an Aydelotte cannot be ascribed to other than natural causes.
This what American capitalism has offered us, and by its works stands condemned. (SP, 200)
I suppose it's been all lipstick since then.