A Banking System We Can Trust. A serious proposal to eliminate fractional reserve banking and the Wall Street casino. (Via Mankiw.)

The Unlikely Revolutionary. “Simon Johnson isn’t a populist. He just thinks bankers run the country.”

In case you missed it, apparently Ken Lewis was tempted to walk away from the BofA/Merrill merger last fall after he got a good look at the garbage on Merrill’s books. Paulson said, please do not do that, and do not worry, we will take care of you. Lewis said, could you put that in writing? Paulson said, no, because that would be a material event requiring disclosure to your shareholders, and by the way, please do not tell anybody about this conversation or your misgivings about Merrill or I will see you and your board fired without severance.

At least, that is what Ken Lewis claims… And personally, I believe him. (Even criminals can be victims.) It is quite a story getting lots of coverage, but the best commentary so far is Steve Waldman’s Control Without Accountability, so go read that.

Little mini-rant and follow-up by yours truly.

And just to round things out, Modern Samurai Returns.

1 comment to Links

  • snoopy

    I liked your rant and the followup. The problem is that people with ethics and with the strength to do something are far outnumbered by unethical people and people who fear the unethical people. Those that stand up are eventually removed because they are outnumbered. Look at what’s happening with Elizabeth Warren…

    We see this kind of behavior all the time in the corporate world, not just with banks. Think of all the problems with stock option scandals at tech companies.

    It will take a lot planning and wisdom to topple the bad stuff. It didn’t all just happen overnight, so it must linger until some wise man finds a way to break the chain. It’s almost the mafia. You have to be a bad guy, become an insider, not become personally involved, and then somehow turn the game around…

    As long as there are children that need to be fed, people will be slaves to the TPTB.

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