Should We Hold Lehman Executives Accountable?
A graduate of Amherst College, Joseph E. Stiglitz received his PHD from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, given biennially by the American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, "The Economics of Information," exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but of policy analysts. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. His most recent book, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict measures the war's opportunity cost to Americans.
Card: Should we hold Lehman executives accountable?
Stiglitz: Clearly, I think they should be held accountable… they probably won’t, least not to a very large extent, you know, it was… in the first bail out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, I was very critical about that, in part, because they left the management, who have gotten then into the mess, in charge. You know, any system of accountability says if you are so reckless to get us into this mess, how can we trust you to get us out? And you are enriching your pockets, look at the pay that those guys are getting, while they [were leading] their country into these serious problems. Now, things look a little bit better but the difficulty of holding them accountable will not be very easy. That is to say that their bonuses were paid on the basis of the performance in 2006, 2007. There was no provision that said, “You make loss in 2008, 2009, you’ll have to get that… some of that back.” Now, it was a high level of incompetency but from a legal standard, it probably doesn’t rise to the level of fraud that would, at least, in most of the cases and some of them may but to the… that would allow the canceling of their… of their [IB] contracts, canceling their pension benefits. So, in fact, most of these people are going to do very well. Now, they’re going to be crying, let me… you should be clear, they’re going to be crying, they’re going to say, “We would have been so much wealthier had you [bailed] us up… out even better.” You know the [Bernstein’s] people are crying, you know, they’re saying, “Look at what’s happened to our wealth.” I know some people in Citibank who, you know, are saying the same thing. If our stock prices have remained at the inflated level, we would be wealthy… very wealthy, now, we’re only wealthy or put to it more accurately they would have been very, very, very wealthy, now they’re only very, very wealthy. So that point is that, they’re going to walk away with a lot of money. Some of them will not have taken prudential action, would not have put enough money away and there will be some people facing a problem. But we, almost surely, will not hold most of these people accountable for what has happened.
Should We Hold Lehman Executives Accountable?
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
Great again? Why America stopped looking forward to the future
- Income inequality is dividing Americans.
- Wages haven't risen in 30 years, while prices for housing, schools, and basic goods has.
- Canny (and uncanny) politicians have learned how to milk the politics of fear by comparing the present to the past.
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