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