On March IS, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) suggested that executives of AIG should consider suicide. You may recall that on that date the furor erupted over the awarding of $165 million in bonuses to people who had run the company into the ground. Grassley told an Iowa radio station that the execs should “follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.”
Bravo, Chuck! At last, a politician cutting through the BS and telling it like it is – or rather, should be. I thought Grassley’s remarks were the best thing I’d heard since Ron Paul talked about abolishing the IRS and the CIA. It was especially delightful to hear such sentiments voiced by the rank- ing Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.
Of course, Grassley’s office later issued a statement say- ing that the senator didn’t really want the execs to kill them- selves. But for one day at least, a public figure had actually said something profound about consequences and honor. If such a code obtained among our ruling class, the credit crisis- and much more besides – might well have been avoided.