Bankers’ Behavior

This week’s Barron’s has an interesting set of quotes gathered by asking various people the following question about Bankers: Do the bailed-out banks owe a debt to society for being saved?

Here are a few answers :

“Banks have a terrible image problem..but their main obligation is to shareholders who want them to be strong so they don’t have to suffer this crisis again.”

-Robert Litan
Senior fellow, Brookings Institution


“They are largely responsible for the crisis and have a moral responsibility to fix it. Not with money, but by addressing ‘too big to fail’ by becoming much smaller. To block reform and change is simply unacceptable.”

-Simon Johnson
Economics and management professor, MIT


“The banks owe a primary duty to shareholders. But it’s the government’s job to establish the incentives that determine private-sector behavior…Obama and Congress have failed to do this. Banks are an easy target, but TARP was a moronic program.”

-Marshall Auerback
Global portfolio strategist, RAB Capital


“The banks got a lifeline from the government. That ‘too big to fail’ insurance policy is worth a lot, and they certainly haven’t paid for that yet.”

-Ann Lee
Adjunct economics professor, New York University



They Said What? Bankers’ Behavior
Barron’s, December 21, 2009

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