Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bankers 1, GM 0. Countdown with Olbermann on MSNBC Has It Right

Last night on Countdown with Keith Olbermann he asked the same question I’ve been wondering about as well (see my post) – why are the bank CEOs staying in their executive suites while GM’s Rick Wagoner is forced to walk the plank? This is not a defense of Wagoner – GM is broken and needs fixing. But what should we say about Bank of America and Citi, the two paragons of fiduciary responsibility in the banking industry? Both Ken Lewis (BAC) and Vikram Pandit (Citi) are past due. So, why?

Keith had Dan Gross, Senior Editor on Newsweek magazine and the author of Dumb Money on his show, and he made a great point. Dan reminded us that top Obama advisors are in the same inner circle as many Wall Street titans, BBM-ing on the beach in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard, and digging into the double porterhouse at Delmonico’s Restaurant.

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Dan is right. In Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions, I wanted to know why people think they are right when they are really wrong! One of the primary ways this happens is when we let our attachments to people (and sometimes places and things) cloud our thinking. This is natural after all – who doesn’t feel comfortable with the people they know? The problem is that these attachments influence how we make decisions, and not in a good way. Why are Wall Street CEOs being spared, while GM’s Rick Wagoner is pushed out? As the old saying goes, it’s not always what you know, but who you know, that counts.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard that Bank of America and Citi are the strongest banks in the world. I think that it was a good idea to form international consortiums. It is clear that they work hard to keep on being recognized enterprises.