14 November 2011

The Elites have failed

I know, it is something I have been harping on for some time. But I believe it is true and important to recognize. It could be the start of an epic civilizational change a la Toynbee, or the alarm bell that sparks some genuine reform. Or both? I'm not sure, but it should be an interesting time.

Every now and then I see something Steve Pearlstein has written that I like, partly because he hits the Democrats as hard as the Republicans in a logical honest way that pulls me back towards a more centered universe. I have a positively Hellenic passion for the Golden Mean.

Today's column by Pearlstein is a case in point. Just the title deserves a place on Sententiae. "The Epic Global Leadership Fail." Love it. The content is even more pointed:
The global financial system teeters on the edge of collapse because European politicians refused to tell citizens of their crumbling economies that they could no longer guarantee them “la dolce vita” - the sweet life - they had come to expect.

Top executives at Olympus, one of Japan’s leading companies, resign in shame after acknowledging that for nearly 20 years they used a complex accounting scheme to hide billions of dollars in speculative trading losses.

A revered coach and a respected president at Penn State are fired because they were more concerned about protecting their own reputations, and that of their school, than protecting young boys from an alleged sexual predator.

And a former governor, senator and head of Goldman Sachs resigns as chief executive of MF Global after bankrupting the broker-dealer with overleveraged bets on European sovereign bonds.

Welcome to this week’s exciting episode of “Failures in Leadership.”

Read the whole thing. Unlike most of the stipendiary punditocracy he offers some solutions. Let's hope he is as realistic as I think.

me, as an historian: I'd just as soon miss a civilizational change.


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