Still Time for Mea Culpas
In his speech this Monday President Obama suggested various steps that Wall Street can voluntarily undertake to show it is serious about reform. Personally I am dubious that Wall Street will heal itself. That's because the kinds of persons who have been attracted in recent years to 'the Street" are those looking for huge, immediate payoffs, who have little regard for long-term consequences for their firm or for the economy. Should Wall Street undertake the suggested reforms, of course, that would be a good sign.
But more generally, new recruits are most likely to be impressed, and to consider an alternative course of action, if leading Wall Street figures, who were distant from the causes of the meltdown, would still take some responsibility for what has happened, issue sincere mea culpas, and work aggressively for the kinds of reforms that are essential (e.g. renouncing
ridiculously high bonuses). If they do this, I am happy to admit that my doubts were misplaced.
Otherwise, the Congress will have to initiate the kinds of tough regulations that Pres. Obama has called for and that many on Wall Street would prefer to avoid--thus, alas, leaving the door open for a repeat of September 2008.
Posted by: LadyChurchillUSA | September 16, 2009 12:35 PM
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