Saturday, March 21, 2009


Digby reminds us again of the astonishing egotism of the bankers who've gotten us into this mess, when Bear Sterns CEO, James Cayne shows himself an ill-tempered fool and loses his temper at the Secretary of the Treasury, saying, "You’re not an elected officer. You’re a clerk."

A bring-down for people who believe capitalists are Randian superheroes, isn't it? To be fair, Rand's heroes at least were genuinely productive and when they stopped their work, the world stopped. Not the case with most financiers. If these people had just gone on the dole, we'd all be much better off. I rather suspect there are people who really make the world work. But they're not usually the upfront, big names, and they aren't usually rich. If the people who make the world work got the money, Dennis Ritchie (operating systems), the Sutherland brothers (graphics), Grace Murray Hopper (programming languages), and so on would be the rich ones, and Bill Gates would be a successful salesman. Oh, the names I've metioned (and the many other computer scientists and people in other disciplines) have mostly done well. But, really, I know who's worth the money and it ain't Gates. So here's a tip, for the people who believe in people who make the world go around: they exist, but they aren't who you think they are, and money isn't a sign.

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