Where Is Wall Street's Leadership in This Mess?

Finance could take steps to mend the crisis of confidence
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2008 12:53 PM CDT
The Wall St. street sign is photographed in front of the American flag hanging on the New York Stock Exchange prior to a NYC Central Labor Council rally for worker protections, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008...   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – It’s easy to criticize Hank Paulson, writes Steven Pearlstein for the Washington Post—for not predicting the depth and breadth of the crisis as subprime mortgages went sour a year ago, for letting Lehman Brothers fail, or for taking his lead from the UK this weekend. But Paulson and others in the government have shown admirable leadership—"Wall Street, by contrast, has served up a nothing sandwich."

Wall Street’s leaders literally ran from the media after yesterday's Treasury meeting, bypassing an opportunity to convince “Main Street that we’re all in this together.” They could’ve promised not to cut credit lines for business customers in good standing, or volunteered their talent, pro bono, to help the Treasury manage the rescue efforts. Instead, their silence points to their moral bankruptcy—"the perfect match for the financial bankruptcy they have now visited upon their investors, their creditors, and their customers."