I agree with your main point here, but it leaves the question... how do we get these people (corporate executives) to take even an ounce of responsibility for their actions? It would be great if someone, say, like, Megan McArdle, could use her position and expertise in the economic/finance world to crusade on this issue.
I know, I know, it's not your gig.
Posted by [commenter] | March 17, 2009 10:11 AM
The fact that there is a problem does not imply that there is a solution.
Posted by Megan McArdle | March 17, 2009 10:15 AM
So there's absolutely nothing to be done about a state of business ethics that is so bad it has nearly brought down our entire economy? Men can't be held to ethical standards? McArdle has no professional responsibility?
This isn't just wrong, it's desperate.
The post itself is nothing but a self-serving attempt to wrestle back some moral authority after championing immoral men.
This is the person who once compared sleeping on an air mattress outside of a high-end DC retail outlet in order to be among the first to buy a $500 phone to being in a refugee camp. She then accused anyone who found the comparison distasteful of not having a sense of humor. When Heath Ledger's body was still warm, as someone pointed out at the 11:01 mark, she was making flippant comments about his death while reports were saying it was a possible suicide. Now she's calling out some politician for *his* remarks about suicide - while completely over-simplifying the motives and reasons of people who do it to boot?
"Gall" doesn't even begin to cover it. I've gone from amused at how terrible she is at her job to being completely enraged. What a self-righteous idiot. Where in the HELL does she get off?
The cold, dismissive tone of it irks me too. You know the world is in a sorry state becasue of people with this attitude, but it isn't often that it's flung in one's face.
I overheard some young women talking in a store during our bad recession twenty-five years ago. They talked about being invited to a party, with the instructions to spend no more than $150 on their outfit due to the bad economic conditions. They giggled and hee-hawed and promised each other they'd go in maid costumes, becasue who could only spend that much on a luncheon outfit? It's like the NYTimes article Digby quoted, in which an investment banker said he wasn't cutting back becasue they made more than enough money in the Bush years to party on.
Little Megans, the lot of them.
Megan, I think this is optimistic on your part:
And I did about as well predicting this as anyone else, which is to say that I called the housing bubble, the savings glut, and the global imbalances, but not the specific disaster that would follow from them.
Lord knows I didn't do any better -- I thought the Dow at 11,000 was an excellent time to buy! Though fortunately I was too lazy to do much about it -- but I recall pretty clearly you were optimistic about stocks a year or so ago. And I also recall clearly that at about the same time you went on a video interview program, for The Guardian I believe?, and agreed with the interviewer that your general stance was "Don't panic". At a time when panicking would have been quite a sensible response. Unless "don't panic" was a hortatory injunction to the populace ("Please don't panic, despite the precarious state of the world's finances! You'll only make everything worse!").
Anyway, I really don't think you can claim to have done as well "predicting this as anyone else". You were nowhere near as pessimistic as Nouriel Roubini or Paul Krugman, and regardless of whether they got the shape of the collapse right, they were right that there was going to be a collapse. I'm pretty sure you did not think there was going to be a collapse.
Posted by Matt Steinglass | March 16, 2009 9:37 PM
Matt--true, but I deduct points for Roubini for not having been particularly concerned about the housing trouble, and from both Krugman and Roubini for calling imminent crises from multiple sources for 5-8 years before the actual crisis. Stopped clocks and all that. Nassim Taleb came the closest, and he, too, missed the housing bubble.
Posted by Megan McArdle | March 17, 2009 9:14 AM
I have a post about that dubious claim, but it'll have to wait until I recover from too much Megan. What a tool. And she has the gall to whine that people call her stupid. It's either that or monumentally dishonest or overwhelmingly self-delusional. Of the three, stupid is the only forgiveable option.
March 17, 2009 12:05 PM
How many points does she deduct from herself for being completely wrong? That takes nerve, even coming from her. "I didn't see any of it coming at all, but these guys don't get any credit in my book for only being half-right!"
Just when I think she can't get any more arrogant and full of herself, she writes something like that.
As for those young women you mention, I think it's funny how much they don't realize they are being manipulated and robbed by the fashion industry. I once went shopping for an evening dress with my step-sister. We found the same dress in two different stores, with the second one charging almost $100 less. And I mean the SAME dress. Same designer, same color, same tailoring, same fit, same quality - everything. She actually insisted we go back to the other store because their dress must be better since it costs more. I was shocked at the stupidity of that.
She did predict the housing bubble, although for the wrong reasons. She still thinks Greenspan was right and did the right thing.
We all are foolish at times, but it's hard to deal with deliberate foolishness.
I looked at her Business Channel this morning and she's got to have ten posts up about AIG bonuses. That's all Megan, as editor, thinks is important right now. It's really more like a tabloid over there than anthing with substance. She's an awful editor.
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