Unsolicited Advice for a Congressional Tongue-Lashing

The bankers will be scolded today. The theater of it all will be familiar and ridiculous. The lawmakers will climb up onto the stage, tap the full depths of their moral authority and deliver judgment as the cameras roll. It will remind us of similar performances with auto executives and baseball managers – and the current news cycle, which still has A-Rod by the scruff of the neck, will remind us that oversight without teeth is a very possible outcome.

As a taxpayer, the whole thing makes me tired. I’m numb to the show. I don’t want to know which plane, train or automobile delivered these guys to the gallows. I don’t want to hear the carefully scripted claims of disbelief that investment bankers were motivated by profit. I feel like Mary J. Blige, ready for a life of “No More Drama.”

I’m craving a technical solution, not a public hanging, as gross as some of the behavior may have been. There’s certainly enough blame to go around the hearing room for creating a system that made this moment possible.

I just have one piece of advice, and it goes for everyone in the room today – channel the Pottery Barn, a company that’s inspired public leaders in the past, despite its crass interest in wealth creation. You broke it. You own it. Fight the temptation to strut and fret and focus on putting it back together again.

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