Today on the news the head of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan relentlessly defended his departments reputation. I think it’s fair to say that the US Secret Service is considered one of the marquee institutions we have. How many movies are there where they represent the best of America. And yet, even though the agents were caught red handed, the guy felt like he had to just deny and act like their behaviour was a one-off. He obviously felt it was part of protecting the integrity of the department. But his repeated expressions of bewilderment were pretty unconvincing. He sounded either shocked. Just shocked.
Now let’s look at Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Chase… biggest bank in the land. After doing everything in his considerable power to torpedo any banking industry reform; even in the face of the near-meltdown of the world economy caused by his brethren, his company is caught losing more than two billion dollars on yet another ‘derivatives’ thing. But when caught red-handed, he acts totally stand up. He accepts full and unequivocal responsibility without waffling.
So the interesting moral conundrum: Two guys: One leading an institution with a heretofore sterling reputation of integrity. The other, leading an institution accepted by a vast majority of Americans as the personification of greed and everything that’s wrong with our current system. Both having to account for subordinates caught red-handed in major scandals.
If you had asked me to guess ahead of time[...]