Tuesday, August 11, 2009

They prostituted themselves...

"These are companies that had legislated competitive advantages," he said. "But because of these conflicts and because of greed they prostituted themselves. They sold their seal of approval to the highest bidder." Ken Shubin Stein
***
If we think about this, these are companies that had legislated competitive advantages. High returns on capital and significant growth prospects both because of inflation and because of transaction and deal volume accelerating. They were the perfect businesses.

But because of these conflicts and because of greed, they prostituted themselves. They sold their seal of approve to the highest bidder. Which became the, you know, structured finance parts of these businesses. And every single one of them, except Egan-Jones, which is paid by the client side, has just prostituted themselves and done a horrible disservice to their owners and to the American public.

And it's just amazing as a case study for business school, it's incredible that, just like everything else, incentives drive behavior. And in this case, the incentives of being paid for by the client, I mean by the corporate side, which as Martin's pointing out, creates these unaccountable conflicts of interest that can't be resolved in any reasonable way except to remove the conflicts.


(source)