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  • Dear Bill O’Reilly:

    Posted by Jonathan on February 10th, 2009 (All posts by )

    If the stock market tanks in response to widespread concerns about incompetent national business and political leadership, this actually means that “the gangsters on Wall Street” are accountable.

    Thanks for your attention.

     

    4 Responses to “Dear Bill O’Reilly:”

    1. Lexington Green Says:

      No. They walked away with hundreds of millions in salaries and bonuses, while ruining their customers, and their sharehnolders, causing a depression, and opening the door to the biggest expansion of government power in our history.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      And how good a job has govt done at disciplining the management of public companies? Ultimately, falling share prices are the main constraint on bad management.

      Also, this is no depression, though it’s possible that policy mistakes by govt officials will create one. And do not ignore the central role of govt in creating our current problems, principally by making credit too easy (Fed), by encouraging high-risk mortgage lending (Fannie Mae), and by tolerating rampant political corruption that insulated Fannie from oversight (Barney Frank, Chris Dodd).

    3. Lexington Green Says:

      I don’t ignore any of it.

      These guys ran the bus off the cliff, and got away, personally with gigantic fortunes.

      Now, they have opened the door to even worse “cures”.

      It won’t matter. They are so rich it won’t impact them. They won. They got away with it.

    4. Jonathan Says:

      First, I would ask what, specifically, they did wrong — Made leveraged investments in the then-current hot markets? Misjudged markets? Risked too much of their shareholders’ money? Decorated their offices lavishly at a time when doing so was considered important for marketing purposes? Are these crimes? Did they violate contracts?

      Second, I would point out that most if not all of the top managers of Wall Street investment banks held substantial equity positions in their own firms, and consequently individually lost huge fortunes when those firms failed. Isn’t that enough? I think that we are going much too far in the direction of criminalizing business risk-taking, particularly since politicians who did more than anyone else to set the stage for the credit crisis have so far paid no personal price for their reckless and malfeasant behavior.