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Wall Street's "Sophie's Choice"


Confess and face retaliation or try to work without the world's trust.

Sophie's Choice: Admit wrongdoing and risk being pursued for restitution and even jail time; don't admit wrongdoing and insure that you'll never be forgiven or trusted again.

If Wall Street admits it was wrong or, even more honestly, admits that it did wrong (by not considering -- or even caring about -- all the stakeholders while making its decisions of the past several years) it runs the risk of being attacked by the injured parties who may justly and even morally demand restitution. That's why their lawyers will tell them never to make that admission.

However until Wall Street admits that it did wrong, those hurt by its immoral activities (albeit legal according to the laws that the lawyers of the wealthy have been able to pass) won't be able to forgive them and move beyond it.

One solution I'd suggest is that all the banks that, within the laws, "manipulated" the average person's greed to the banks' advantage admit their wrongdoing, but be indemnified against retaliation. Otherwise we're never going to get that full apology that goes way beyond saying you're sorry.

Furthermore, if they would then lay out a plan going forward that would prevent their manipulating the average person's gullibility and foolish greed to the banks' advantage, we might have a chance of psychologically moving past this impasse of distrust.

My guess is that Wall Street is hoping to wait it out until we have a full recovery, a return to full employment and consumer spending at which time all will be forgiven as America returns to "spending its cares away." That could be a very long wait.

What would be your suggestions for how we put what is much more a huge disappointment in the greed of our financial institutions than it is a betrayal by evildoers?
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