Screeds

Mr. Greenspan is shocked! Shocked!

Alan Greenspan

I bet he is. We're all shocked. But the fact that he is shocked is perhaps the most shocking thing of all. "I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations... were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity," he said while being grilled by legislators who were shocked, shocked I tell you, that an unregulated financial marketplace would eventually be destroyed by their inattentiveness and its own inherent greed, stupidity and short-term thinking.

If anybody was doing their jobs around here, we'd be in much better shape and a whole lot of people would be much less shocked.

You know what? We pay a lot of people in this world to know what's going on, so that even if we are shocked when stuff happens, they are not. We call them professionals. Being Unshocked is part of what they are supposed to be doing.

Like, when we go to the same dentist for 10 years, we don't expect the guy to be shocked, shocked!... when we require braces to fix our bite. He was supposed to see it coming, am I right? I mean, that's why HE'S the dentist and we are not.

When we hire a guy to build us a house, we don't expect the house to fall down. And when it does, we certainly don't believe he's going to show up and be shocked, shocked!... that the foundation was built on sand. He built it, didn't he?

When a hurricane winds up in the Gulf to wreak destruction on coastal towns nearby, we look to the guys in the little beanies and pocket protectors to tell us how bad it will be, and we don't expect to wake up one morning to find the guy on the tube standing there with egg on his chin saying, "I'm shocked! There's a tsunami coming in five minutes and there's nothing we can do!" We fire that guy after it's over. If we live.

When Mr. Greenspan left office, he was carried out of Washington on a float. A host of vestal virgins strewed flowers at his feet and book publishers lined up to line his pocket. Now he looks tired and sad and shocked. And all the Congressmen looking to spin the bottle in the blame game, they're shocked too. What a bunch of weenies.

Is there anybody out there who's NOT shocked? Maybe those are the guys we should be listening to at this point.

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