Is It Time for Bankers to Apologize?

According to an article I saw today there’s some feeling that despite the risk that an admission of fault might bring in litigation, the investment banking industry could regain trust more quickly if they were to admit culpability and voluntarily forgo large bonuses.

investment banking is never having to say you’re sorry.

That was discussed in the article.

Which bankers, exactly? It’s a big industry. Not everyone is equally culpable.

And, frankly, most bankers seem to be bricking themselves about losing their jobs, so the chances of them voluntarily surrendering bonuses (which in many cases may be small or non-existent anyway) are pretty slim.

I’d also suggest that unscrupulous mortgage lenders might want to say sorry too…

They will be kind enough to attempt to fix the mess for a million a month. They have no remorse because everything worked perfectly. Is this guy apologetic enough for you?

Greenspan is being grilled at this moment. CNBC was shocked that someone dared to interrupt him. They say no congressman would dare do that before. The congressional committee has been investigating the ugly side of the economic crisis for a couple weeks. The perps being grilled are dancing away from blame. Not successfully though.

It’s worth pointing out that this guy made his money taking trades on the other side of the “irrational exhuberance.” He wasn’t running it up and creating the problem. Good for him, I say.

The certifying agencies were being grilled by congress the last couple days. They of course claimed it was not their fault, just doing their job. Only emails came out saying they would certify anything ,even if cows wrote it. They were in bed with the financial companies and were paid to certify, not to reject. They got rich too.

"I’d also suggest that unscrupulous mortgage lenders might want to say sorry too… "

Well Countrywide is trying to do something positive.

To me, an apology has a number of steps.

  1. Say what you did that was wrong, and why you did it.
  2. Say what you should have done instead, and why you didn’t.
  3. Say what you’re going to do to fix things, if you can.
  4. Say you’re sorry.

I don’t believe they’re ready to do all those things.

Don’t be fooled by the obvious bias in that article. Lahde’s letter is pure gold and a must read. He starts out by calling the people who got us into this mess ‘idiots whose parents paid for prep school’ who didn’t deserve their MBAs but nevertheless got top jobs in financial companies and upper levels of government. He goes on to suggest we come up with a open source form of government because the current system is flawed. He ends the letter with a proposal to legalize hemp as a alternative energy and food source. :dubious: If more hedge fund managers were like this guy maybe things wouldn’t have turned out so bad (ok maybe it still would have).

As for my take on the OP: I seriously doubt any of them would ever apologize. By saying sorry they would be admitting fault and opening themselves up to multiple lawsuits. I haven’t heard a peep from the CEO of Bear Stearns or the manager of those 2 hedge funds whose collapse signalled the beginning of the end.

Buffet says the CEO s are the heads of fraternities in college. They are everybodies friend and know a lot of people. he says they are not the guys you want to do business with. Play golf with them.

Warren Buffet was a Alpha Sigma Phi.

Greenspan seemed geniunely shocked at what happened, to the point of conceding that his very worldview was wrong.

They are all culpable, although some moreso than others. Any banker that knows how the system runs* (charging interest on money they didn’t have) is at least partially culpable.
*Yes, that is how the system works. Bankers loan money they don’t have and charge interest on it. Look up fractional reserve banking. Or better yet, watch the movie “Money As Debt” on YouTube.

The ratio of how much you have to keep in reserve to loan out was determined after the depression. The bankers lobbied endlessly to get the ratio changed . They were successful . Slowly the reserves dwindled.
The financial leaders were more successful. They got the ratio from 14 to 1 ,to 40 to 1 ,in the last few years. Paulson was a big backer of changing the ratio. Now he is the savior. I want him to apologize first.

You know an apology really isn’t enough for me. I want the money they stole from us returned back. And I want them in prison.

I think they should have a chance to apologize just prior to their beheadings…last words and all.