Sunday, December 30, 2007

America, the land of second (third, fourth) chance

How many times does one have to screw up before people stop taking him or her seriously?

As Prince Igor sings in the famous Borodin's opera,

...give me back my freedom, God above,
And let me wipe my shame out on' the field!
... - presumably so he can waste another army while pursuing personal glory in the most incompetent way.

A couple of months I ran into an article in The Atlantic Monthly by none other than Henry Blodget. The article's title was "The Conscientious Investor".

If you have survived the .com boom (and subsequent bust) in the US, the name of Henry Blodget must ring familiar. He was one of the top cheerleaders for THE bubble of our time, and a manifestly dishonest one, at that. "In 2002, Eliot Spitzer published Merrill Lynch e-mails in which Blodget allegedly gave assessments about stocks, which conflicted with what was publicly published. In 2003, he was charged with civil securities fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He settled without admitting or denying the allegations and was subsequently banned from the securities industry for life."

The word "conscientious" appearing in the same passage with the name "Henry Blodget" is an oxymoron. Yet one of the nation's most respected magazines gives him a pulpit again, to advise on investment strategies.

This is not really an isolated example. David Frum, formerly the Bush speechwriter has now a comfortable job commenting on Marketplace, otherwise a very respectful market commentary produced by APM/NPR. Again, a cheerleader for every excess of the Bush regime, he normally - in the olden days - would have had a seat at the Nuremberg trial, and a deserved noose at the end of it. But here, he dispenses advice on the foreign and economic policy.

The list goes on and on and on. From Barry Minkow, ex-convict now a "religious leader" to, ultimately, George W. Bush, ex-alcoholic, a "C" student, and an across the board business failure now a "president". I bet even the Enron guys will come out on top, eventually, just give them time.

The question is - how long can one keep screwing up in this country before being treated as what he or she is - a crazy moron, never to be listened to again?


Eldar said...

Happy New Year, Sergey! Let it be god for us!

Eldar said...

... I meant "good"... damn blogger API without "edit" button...