A Memo Found in the Street

Saturday, September 27, 2008 | 09:23 AM



This morning, I have an editorial in Barron's on "Uncle Sam the enabler."

Its a memo from Wall Street to Washington D.C., discussing how all of the excesses of Wall Street were made possible by the actions in nation's capital.

I was thrilled to publish this at Barron's. Here's an excerpt:

To: Washington, D.C.
From: Wall Street
Re: Credit Crisis

Dear D.C.,

WOW, WE'VE MADE QUITE A MESS OF THINGS here on Wall Street: Fannie and Freddie in conservatorship, investment banks in the tank, AIG nationalized. Thanks for sending us your new trillion-dollar bailout.

We on Wall Street feel somewhat compelled to take at least some responsibility. We used excessive leverage, failed to maintain adequate capital, engaged in reckless speculation, created new complex derivatives. We focused on short-term profits at the expense of sustainability. We not only undermined our own firms, we destabilized the financial sector and roiled the global economy, to boot. And we got huge bonuses.

But here's a news flash for you, D.C.: We could not have done it without you. We may be drunks, but you were our enablers: Your legislative, executive, and administrative decisions made possible all that we did. Our recklessness would not have reached its soaring heights but for your governmental incompetence.

The full text is below in PDF format.

It was a pleasure working with Thom Donlan on this, who turned my blunt, meandering scribbles into a razor sharp scalpel.


A Memo Found in the Street
Uncle Sam the enabler

A_Memo_Found_in_the_Street (text).pdf

Barrons Other Voices (Print edition).pdf

Saturday, September 27, 2008 | 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (94) | TrackBack (0)
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Well done Barry! I was looking just yesterday for that single succinct piece which sums up what got us here. And congrats on getting this published in Barron's.

Posted by: Curt Wehrley | Sep 27, 2008 9:48:52 AM

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