In a piece called "Wall Street: Not Guilty," financial columnist Roger Lowenstein attempts to defend Wall Street against allegations that it's a viper's nest of rampant criminality. His mischaracterization, mockery, and vague suggestions of McCarthyism are strident, flat, and fail to get the job done. But Lowenstein's piece is well worth reading, if only as a case study in the moral and cognitive blindness that's reached epidemic proportions in influential Washington and Wall Street circles.
Lowenstein shows us how people who are undoubtedly thoughtful and ethically-minded in their personal lives can lose their way when confronted with complex moral and legal issues, especially ones involving people they know personally. And his misdirection and vituperation suggests how unsettled they become when their worldview is challenged.
It's a shame. The analytical and moral flaws in Lowenstein's piece obscure some of the very sound points he makes about the wrongheadedness of our country's financial culture, a topic that deserves more thoughtful discussion. Without a clear rebuttal, this wrongheaded view is likely to become tomorrow's conventional wisdom.
Help us spread the word about these important stories...
Bookmark/Search this post with: