Monday, April 26, 2010

Fareed Zakaria On Goldman

Fareed Zakaria is a smart guy, a little too CNNish in a "global community" kind of way, but smart nonetheless.

He does a good job in this piece laying out the broad strokes of the government's case against Goldman Sachs.

At the end of the day, Goldman will walk because while what they did strikes many of us as wrong or unfair, it will not be found to be illegal. There continues to be a difference between unfair and illegal, and that is a good thing.


lcowherd said...

What about the difference between wrong and illegal? If there be, is that a good thing?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Good question--bottom line for me is that there is a role for societal approbation and shame that regulates conduct not rising to the level of illegal.

Johnny Scoffmores said...

In what form does this approbabtion and shame take? Do they not get their desired tee times at the country club? Unable to get last minute tables at their favorite restaurants? In a society where Senators can unshamed remain in office following revelations about being a "John" or paying off a cuckolded former staffer, I fail to see how said anacronisms can do the conduct regulation you intend.

I suspect that Goldman "workers" live in a pretty insular social circle that protects them from any approbation and shame.

Maybe we could arrange a finger wagging campaign outside their corporate headquarters.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Or maybe (Johnny) we could just criminalize EVERYTHING and not have to worry about societal approbation.

Bart Simpson said...

I would never suggest criminalizing everything, nor am I suggesting it in this instance. Nevertheless, I don't think your suggestion that shame is a useful tool is even valid anymore. Do you think shame exists? And if it does not, is it even possible to reintroduce the idea of shame into our American mores in the age of the Individual? So to lcowherd's point about wrong versus illegal, we are missing one of our bookends to guide (not control) good behavior.

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