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Paul H. O'Neill Sr.
Political/Corporate leader

Paul H. O'Neill Sr.

Paul H. O’Neill served as the 72nd Secretary of the U.S. Treasury from 2001 to 2002, as well as chairman and CEO of Alcoa, Inc.

Don't Lead the Lynch Mob

In times of crisis, real leaders do not lead the lynch mob, or fashion the hangman's noose, or gather twigs for the witches burning. (Or suggest suicide as a remedy.) Real leaders resort to truth and transparency about everything and seek to create solutions that will prevent future transgressions.

There is a specific lesson in the facts of AIG's present problems. If we the people are going to assume ownership for financial institutions, we need to install a governance process that, from the very beginning of ownership, puts all of the facts in the hands of the people. This is truth and transparency. If the prospective "bonus" problem had been put in the public domain last fall when it was first identified as a problem, the current firestorm could have been avoided.

A major part of our continuing financial crisis is that the past and current administrations have not decided to require the major financial institutions to provide full truth and transparency with regard to the assets on their balance sheets so that informed citizens can make an intelligent judgment regarding financial viability. This is an essential step if we are going to regain our footing.

By Paul H. O'Neill Sr.

 |  March 18, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Category:  Economic crisis Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Fire the Bonus-Takers | Next: Dangerous Obfuscation of Facts

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"If the prospective "bonus" problem had been put in the public domain last fall when it was first identified as a problem, the current firestorm could have been avoided."

As long as TARP has been in existence, the issue of bonuses has been in the public eye - and something the public has bee quite clear in opposing.

That public officials are caught off guard by populist rage against the bonuses - have they been living under a rock?! In an economy where millions have been laid off, the idea that the very people responsible for an economic debacle would be paid millions in bonuses out of taxpayer funds - it's outrageous and immoral and in opposition to any foundational theories of any economic system.

Geithner needs to go. The complexities of his job (and the tax code) are beyond his abilities.

http://wardonwords.blogspot.com

Posted by: anne3 | March 19, 2009 10:28 AM
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