Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A couple of op-eds that resonated....

As we start out in 2008 (and here's wishing everyone a good 2008), I wanted to note a couple of op-eds that resonated with me:  one from the New York Times on December 26, suggesting that creative mortgages aren't such a bad idea, as long as those lenders who are offering them can explain them clearly to the borrowers (Michael S. Barr, Sendhil Mullainathan, and Eldar Shafir, A One-Size-Fits-All Solution, here), and one from the Wall Street Journal on December 28, pointing out that adding new laws to deal with the subprime crisis won't be nearly as useful as will figuring out why humans do some of the dumb, self-destructive things that we do (Neil Weinberg, Subprime Conduct, here).

2 comments:

Bobb said...

Weinberg's piece rests on the notion that Business will police itself b/c it makes economic sense to do so:

Corny as it sounds, corporate leaders can clean up their acts, and keep politicians and lawyers off our backs, only by setting the right tone at the top . . . [t]hat means setting strict rules for personal conduct and punishing even top talent for breaking them.

The remedy for corporate wrongdoing, in other words, is not in our laws but in ourselves.

You posted the link--do you think that self-interest will do the trick? The argument that Government should keep its Big Nose out relies on your Answer.

Nancy Rapoport said...

IMHO, self-interest only does the trick for those people who factor in morality as part of self-interest, and there's precious few of those folks around. What do you think, though?