Opinion

Felix Salmon

John Reed apologizes

By Felix Salmon
November 6, 2009

John Reed wasn’t even on the list of people who I thought should apologize for their role in creating the bubble which led to the financial crisis. But good for him for doing so:

John S. Reed, who helped engineer the merger that created Citigroup Inc., apologized for his role in building a company that has taken $45 billion in direct U.S. aid and said banks that big should be divided into separate parts.

“I’m sorry,” Reed, 70, said in an interview yesterday. “These are people I love and care about. You could imagine emotionally it’s not easy to see what’s happened.”

Reed is a bit like Gerry Levin, looking back on a merger gone horribly wrong; it’s understandable that he has many regrets and might be more prone to apology. But still, it’s a start. Sandy? You’re up next!

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

You missed this though:

“I would compartmentalize the industry for the same reason you compartmentalize ships,” Reed said in the interview in his office on Park Avenue in New York. “If you have a leak, the leak doesn’t spread and sink the whole vessel. So generally speaking you’d have consumer banking separate from trading bonds and equity.”

Glass-Steagall Repeal

Lawmakers were wrong to repeal the Depression-era Glass- Steagall Act in 1999, Reed said. At the time, he supported overturn of the law, which required the separation of institutions that engaged in traditional customer banking services from those involved in capital markets.

“We learn from our mistakes,” said Reed, who wrote an Oct. 21 letter to the editor of the New York Times endorsing a division of banking activities. “When you’re running a company, you do what you think is right for the stockholders. Right now I’m looking at this as a citizen.”

I agree.

 

Glass-Seagull, TSarbox, Glass-Seagull, TSarbox, Glass-Seagull, TSarbox, its all you bloody hear all day, is it a secret call code ? How about simply writing a new law or issuing an executive order as with the public sector fleet decree ? Maybe that is what is required re Afghanistan. What goes for vehicles, should go for Hummers.

Posted by Casper | Report as abusive
 

What was the industru activity doing to get the Glass-Steagall Act repealed? Was big money paving the way for the repeal by our “Trusted Lawmakers” like it is being done today?

Posted by E. Earl Person | Report as abusive
 

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