Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Was Ken Lay Assassinated?

Some have suggested so. It seems a stretch, but stranger things have happened. The unfortunate thing is that his sudden death lays a patina of sympathy over a man who cavalierly allowed thousands of people to lose their lives' savings, largely because they trusted him. And we have to wonder what other inconvenient facts go to the grave with him.

The problem with the ideologically pure version of capitalism is that it strips away any notion of responsibility, as merely a form of weakness. In the wake of the fall of Stalinism, and the run of success by the Chicago economists, and fuelled by the heady pseudo-populism of the Reagan era, we have adopted unfettered capitalism as a cult. The result is that we have steadily eroded even the basic notions of trust and truthfullness, as unwanted impediments to the maximization of wealth.

As a person whose job description includes the word "Capitalist", I remain unpersuaded by the notion that all we need in order to reach the best outcome is to let greed run rampant. The reality is that we need ethics as well, if not from within, then through other instruments. Ken Lay should have had the opportunity to understand what he did. He professed to a great religiosity, so perhaps he is being judged by his maker. I hold out no such optimism.


Blogger edman said...

Hear ! Hear ! I think whenever any business person says, "It's just business," it's an unaware man's excuse for doing something unethical. It's ironic how clear those code words are, yet, folks aren't aware of it's real meaning. Very few people get away with no remorse before they die, so I've never seen a situation where unethical behavior goes unrewarded.

July 06, 2006 5:31 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

Come on you guys, who among you hasn't read Huck Finn?? Judgment must wait (as in Vesco or Cooper) until extraordinary greed worms its way to its own bitter, if exceedingly rich, end.

July 23, 2006 9:08 AM  

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