Thursday, January 08, 2009

'Everyone lies about sex' – so how about money? By Craige McMillan

Have you noticed? There's been a change in the financial fallout reporting of late. A few months ago, the tone of the news was, "Oh, how terrible! Those people lost everything! We must curb the evil capitalist market. ..." Today's stories are different. Real estate tycoons are killing themselves. European industrialists are stepping in front of trains rather than watch their empires unravel. China's richest man is under investigation for insider trading. And the chairman of India's biggest information technology service firm admitted that he was carrying a billion dollars worth of cash on the company's balance sheet that did not – and indeed never had – existed. The profits for which he was so highly praised were phony. In California, the U.S. attorney is begging for more money and manpower to prosecute the real estate brokers, property appraisers, mortgage brokers and banks that participated in outright fraud during the real estate boom. He doesn't even have time to prosecute the individuals who lied on their mortgage applications about their income and assets. The sentiment has shifted. Today's headlines are more likely to read, "I can't believe it! The guy lied to us! It was a Ponzi scheme!" Well, duh. What did you expect? The media told Americans that lying was OK. [Continue Reading]
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