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March 03, 2009

Wall Street's Genius

By: Bernard Chazelle

We all knew Wall Street was good at greed. Turns out it's not too shabby at self-protection. Or so implied Simon Johnson, a former chief economist for the IMF, who talked to Terry Gross on Fresh Air today.

I find it baffling that the banks' boards of directors have not resigned yet. In fact, the Treasury Secretary has all but promised Citi's boss, Vikram Pandit, that he would hold on to his job even if the board goes. The big banks have persuaded everyone around them that they need to operate under current management in order for the country to have an economic recovery. That to me is completely at odds with the historical record from crises elsewhere.

Think of the heroic Pandit as the captain of the Titanic. He'll be the last one to leave the corporate jet.

— Bernard Chazelle

Posted at March 3, 2009 08:11 PM

The corporate jet will not go down.

Posted by: StO at March 3, 2009 10:47 PM

REGULATE 2BIG2FAIL DOWN2 2LITTLE2CARE. Call Nancy Pelosi @1-202-225-0100 Its called BANKruptsy Court for a reason.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 4, 2009 01:59 AM

It's the same sort of mindset that explains why it is the NuLabour government didn't resign en masse years ago: megalomania, greed, unquenchable thirst for power, and utter lack of shame and principle.

They'll give up the reins of power when they're pried from their cold, dead hands.

Posted by: NomadUK at March 4, 2009 09:07 AM

Simon Johnson is one of the principals at an informative econoblog I personally have only recently discovered:

I also enjoy reading

May all beings be healthy, happy, and at peace.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 4, 2009 12:57 PM

Pandit is a bandit.

Posted by: Carl at March 5, 2009 07:35 PM