Monday, October 22, 2007

Ben Stein on subprime

Had this to say in the NY Times:

One is that it’s a bit too predictable that Mr. Paulson would basically pooh-pooh the subprime problems until major Wall Street powers got in trouble and then — presto! — swing into action. It might have been inspiring had he stepped up to the plate when smaller players like home buyers were getting burned, but that’s not really his style...

But the vicious, cruel truth is that some very greedy, selfish and, yes, stupid men made fortunes on deals that were economically and/or ethically wrong. (Why else hide them off balance sheet or abroad?) They got immense fees, stunning paychecks and the inheritance of maharajahs. Their great-grandchildren will be rich from their deeds and misdeeds. As far as I can tell, they are not being called to account in any major way. The ones at the top aren’t fired or, if they are fired, are fired very rich.

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