- Felix Salmon on the Real Damage Done to Goldman Sachs The
Washington Post guest columnist says the biggest
blow to Goldman isn't the SEC suit—it's the loss of its reputation:
"Without its clients' trust, the Goldman franchise crumbles, and the
bank becomes just an ordinary trading shop. No longer can it charge a
premium for its mergers and acquisitions advisory services, or its stock
and bond underwriting, or its customized structured products. To put it
in baseball terms, it has lost what another storied franchise, the
Yankees, so closely guards -- its mystique and aura."
O'Rourke on America's Best and Brightest The Weekly Standard writer argues we've got the wrong kind of
leadership class today: "America has made the mistake of letting the A
student run things. It was A students who briefly took over the business
world during the period of derivatives, credit swaps, and
collateralized debt obligations. We’re still reeling from the effects.
This is why good businessmen have always adhered to the maxim: 'A
students work for B students.'"
- Paul Theroux on
the New Boy Scouts The New York Times contributor calls for a more
inclusive Boy Scouts of America: "The Boy Scouts would be doing a great
service if it made a few adjustments (as it did after the era of
segregation) and acted on that crisp acknowledgment of inclusiveness.
Far from eviscerating its principles, accepting gays and atheists would
strengthen them... Not only are such boys capable of being good scouts,
but the recognition of such traits would help to make their fellow
scouts more tolerant, especially at that awkward age."
Masters on Eliot Spitzer Reviewing a new book about Eliot Spitzer,
Masters rejects its claim that Spitzer
could have fixed our financial system: "Spitzer's history does not
support claims that he would have been ideally positioned to prevent the
financial crisis. His investigation of American International Group
focused on accounting, not the structured products unit that ultimately
cost U.S. taxpayers billions. Far from spotting troubles in the subprime
mortgage market, Spitzer drew criticism as attorney general for failing
to bring any significant real estate cases. It also seems improbable
that the political skills that failed him so badly as governor would
have worked better in the debate over financial reform."
Friedman on the Green Tea Party The New York Times columnist calls for a populist revolt
on foreign oil: "I’d be happy to design the T-shirt logo and write the
manifesto. The logo is easy. It would show young Americans throwing
barrels of oil imported from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia into Boston
Harbor. The manifesto is easy, too: 'We, the Green Tea Party, believe
that the most effective way to advance America’s national security and
economic vitality would be to impose a $10 'Patriot Fee' on every barrel
of imported oil, with all proceeds going to pay down our national
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