Saturday, August 01, 2009

Wall Street Mystique

I started this blog because I, a former denizen of "Wall Street", was offended by the blatant disregard of anything remotely resembling business ethics and political morality in Washington's rescue process.

Before I write further, let me declare. I love $$ as much, if not more, than the next investment banker. However, I also believe $$ ain't the be-all-and-end all for us to be human. Nor should it be the only defining value of what constitutes a useful, happy, productive life. By morality I don't mean I am on the side of angels. What I do mean is a society, any society, needs "balance". A society that allows certain groups, companies, individuals to influence a public policy to its own benefits without checks and balance is a society waiting for a disaster to happen.

What has been happening in Wall Street is more than about $$. It is about how one industry has managed to write the public policy for its own benefit -- with some key Washington public officials as cohorts.

I have over the past months written on this topic. I do not wish to bore you more.

The latest NY Times report on bonuses on Wall Street is just another reminder that democracy has to be safeguarded from any person, any company, any industry that can safely ignore public interests. Read here re how ineffective, how incompetent, or perhaps how inter-connected the economics team of the Obama administration is to Wall Street. What has Democracy got to do with bonuses on Wall Street?

As pointed out by any number of writers, including this one, the Goldman Sach's or the Morgan Stanely's could not have survived but for pubic money injected into them to bail them out.

To the rest of the nation, indeed to the world, it seems quite unseemly that high officials on Wall Street who had been a party to the bursting of the bubble are still getting paid humongous bonuses.

I only have this to say: "Very clever chaps, but remember your bonuses are from the savings of the poorer fellow citizens who have had to tighten their seat belts so that you can go aead and pay yourselves large bonuses.

I have only a small one: What exactly have you done to the country to warrant yet another round of super duper bonuses while the rest of the country continues to suffer?

Read this Ny Times article for illustration.

1 comment:

Jiuan-Jye Ng said...

Interesting perspective, Mr. Shaw.

Any thoughts on how Morality VS Free Market Principle will turn out?