American Consequences - August 2017


weren’t being hypothetical, they were going broke. For all sorts of reasons – pay, perks, ego, stock-option greed – the senior managers of banks got themselves involved in financial transactions that no ordinary stockholder could understand. And as it turned out, no senior manager could understand either. Because the banks were owned by clueless stockholders, the banks’ clueless senior managers were allowed to forget what banks are supposed to do – move money around in a safe and wise manner, taking a little cut for their trouble. Then there are two WTFs who aren’t answering attempts to contact them and determine what their mission is. “Earth to General Electric... “ “Earth to Berkshire Hathaway... “ Search for “General Electric” and something like this comes up (see below).

example. I’m using a hypothetical teenage daughter.) My hypothetical teenage daughter is at an age where she insists that she can manage her own life. Her goal is to have a good time. Her interests are clothes, boys, and loud music with obscene lyrics. Being a dad, I feel a proprietary interest in my daughter. My goal is to get her through college, settled in her career, and, eventually, happily married with adorable grandchildren whose pictures I can post on Facebook. My other interests are not paying for too many of her clothes with my credit card, letting the boys know I have a shotgun, and getting my daughter to turn down her mobile device so that I can’t hear the obscene lyrics leaking out her earbuds. Bankers, as we learned during the 2008 financial crisis, can be every bit as bad as hypothetical teenage daughters – except they

10 | August 2017

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