Please, Don’t Pass The Buck Anymore

Dec 20, 08 Please, Don’t Pass The Buck Anymore
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Reading the news for the last couple of days, it’s becoming obvious that many people are doing the same thing that got us into this mess: passing the buck.

Previously, they were bundling bad mortgages into complex financial pyramid schemes and banking the “profit”.  Now, they are wringing their hands and relying on the complexity of the myriad scandals, coupled with the public’s short attention span, to divert attention from their misdeeds.

The “they” I am referring to: the financial titans that pick the numbers out of thin air, the willing acolytes that misused their talents in order to make quick millions, and the regulatory agencies that were assigned to insure the whole system didn’t collapse under the weight of its imagination.

We find ourselves in a scenario where handling this emergency outweighs assigning blame.  Of course, you hear names, agencies, and companies thrown around without much context.  If you weren’t following the collapse closely, you might believe that each of these individual catastrophes were separate from one another.

Look closer.  Emerging from the ether is a sense that the strands of one scandal are intricately linked to the others.  Pull one string and the whole thing falls apart.  The financial sector has relied on obfuscation, obscurity, and your malaise to conduct their scams in secret.  In Medieval times, at a minimum, you would need a sword and a couple of thousand soldiers to plunder a nation.

I am upset because when the country turned away from bricks and mortar towards information and technology, I believed it would herald a new age of prosperity for everyone.  Instead, our best minds spent their days innovating increasingly complex financial structures for the purposes of hiding bad debt and stealing from you.

When you write bad checks or default on loans, your name goes into a database that follows you around like a felony conviction.  What are the consequences when you bankrupt a venerable company?  A $50 million dollar golden parachute?!  I’m not sure what should be done to these individuals that have saddled this nation with an additional $3 trillion in debt.

However, I am NOT going sit on the sidelines bemoaning the state of the economy.  They may have dropped much of the financial pie on the ground, but I am going to find and keep whatever piece of the pie is salvageable.  Don’t pass the buck anymore.  Learn to keep some for yourselves.

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