Friday, January 9, 2009


As I survey the landscape in front of me, there are landmines as far as the eye can see. Disaster seems to be lurking in a recession bordering on a depression, a $50 billion scam and an escalation of violence in the Middle East. We all search for historical corollaries to compare and contrast. It is not hard to find other similar incidents in all these contexts. The question that thus arises is what we can take from seeing the same societal shortcomings repeated over and over.

For every Michael Millken, for every Enron, there is a subsequent Bernie Madoff. For the Great Depression, there are certainly many succeeding recessions and now the possibility of something worse. For Israel if it is not 1967 or 2006 it is 2009. Why can't we seem to get it right?

Is there something in our makeup that says for every step forward there must be a corresponding step in the other direction? Can we not build on the lessons learned from earlier misdeeds and create a better, stronger model going forward? Do we come out of the worst times because of our ingenuity or just because?

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