Friday, November 14, 2008
Through the looking glass
No, not because,as Lindsay Lohan recently said, we've elected the first colored president. America has gotten away from its roots. I'm not talking about our Christian roots or manufacturing roots. I'm not talking about America descending into communism a la Red Dawn(don't worry, we're not). I'm talking about how we've become hostile to success and coddling of failure.
Parading rich hedge fund managers before Congress will not solve our current problems. Why only the top five moneymakers? Why not the top ten? I can see wagging your finger at Dick Fuld(who feels so sorry for helping destroy the company, but think that he shouldn't have to give back any of the $384 million in compensation he raked in), but Soros had been talking about this before it happened. Soros doesn't even really trade anymore, he just collects fees and manages his philanthropic enterprises.
Does anyone feel better if a rich person gets shamed for a few hours before their limo takes them to their Gulfstream and back to their pile of money? More importantly, there used to be a time in the country when we venerated people who made money honestly. Now we look at them with suspicion. Nowadays, we hand out billions to failures, hoping to prop up sad companies that should go bankrupt. I am all for a perp walk, just let it be the right guys not the most obvious targets. It's funny how for years hedge funds were supposed to be the danger to the financial system, but in the end, it was the "respectable" institutions like Citi, Lehman, WaMu, Merrill, etc.
I guess you can get an STD from an All-American cheerleader.