Friday, March 20, 2009

Joe Nocera argues a point on the A.I.G. bonuses that I've been trying to articulate for a couple of days. Worth a read.

There are times when anger is cathartic. There are other times when anger makes a bad situation worse. "We need to stop committing economic arson," Bert Ely, a banking consultant, said to me this week. That is what Congress committed: economic arson.
I wouldn't go quite as far as "fiddling while Rome burns" (Nocera would, and does), but I think we're definitely well into the realm of "focusing on a tiny, contained fire while a much larger, scarier one is taking over the rest of the town." (Which, unbeknownst to most people, is something that Nero also did.)