Thursday, October 9, 2008

Greed is good . . . well maybe not always

Greed. I am reminded during this financial crisis of the movie Wall Street and Gordon Gecko's famous scene where he observes that "greed is good."


Well, I don't think Michael Douglas was talking about our current financial crisis. And, in that scene, Gordon Gecko also makes a number of other important observations about companies and about the United States economy as a whole. He also accuses company officials of creating a establishment that rewards the "survival of the unfittest" and contrasts that with his philosophy that you must "do it right or get eliminated."

All of this raises the issues of who really is to blame here. That is, who is unfit and should be eliminated. Christine Hurt over at the Conglomerate explained that this is really a hard question to answer, not one that lends itself readily to soundbites and that there may not even be any "bad guys" after all. Or, the villain of my War of Wealth variety simply does not exist. I found this video:

This guy seems to blame all of this mess on the Republicans, particularly President Bush and Senator John McCain.

I, like Christine Hurt, do not think it is that easy to throw a large net over this one and just put folks in jail. Of course, that was until I found out that the AIG executives apparently spent $440,000 to stay at the St. Regis Resort in California after the government lent it money to bail out the company. Although those in attendance did not apparently include the particular executives from the AIG divisions that are in trouble, it seems like a lot of money for any executives to spend during an economic crisis. Reckless, but I am not sure illegal. Perhaps someone will get fired over the resort extravaganza, but jail? Doesn't seem likely. Well, apparently there are indications that some AIG executives might have hid the full extent of the financial problems from its auditors as the losses mounted. Now, we are onto something that might lead to jail time.


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