Why Has the Financial Crisis Produced Few Criminal Cases? That is what the New York Times wants to know. And the answer it comes up with is: The financial crisis was a product of Wall Street greed, not criminality. This answer serves four purposes. First, for the notoriously leftist NYT, it strikes a note of moderation and fairness.

"See, we don't think all economic problems result from criminal businessmen."  Secondly, it nonetheless manages to blame businessmen for the economic crisis. "It was just a product of Wall Street greed, and Wall Street is always greedy. It's the nature of the beast." Thirdly, it obviates the suggestion that perhaps the villains were in Washington rather than New York. And fourthly, it implies that the ultimate solution to such crises must be an economic system that has no place for greed, such as, oh, an economy run by public servants. Update: Apparently, the question began with the New York Observer , so it seems that this thesis is a trial balloon that is already being floated by the leftist intelligentsia. The capitalist response must be to discover and publicize the simple and coherent story about how government regulators undermined the free-market system. Call it a first rough draft of history.

Black Will Stay in US. Conrad Black, according to his lawer, will not reveal more about the state of his finances to US District Court Judge Amy St. Eve. At his bail hearing on Jul 23, Black requested that he be allowed to visit his home in Canada, but St. Eve said she wanted to hear more about his available resources and give him an August 16 deadline to provide the information. Inasmuch as Black is not going to provide the data, it seems certain that he will have to remain in America while his appeals are heard.

The California Supreme Court Rules Against Google. Back in May I blogged about a suit charging Google with age discrimination in its firing of Brian Reid. Google protested that it had acceptable grounds for dismissing Reid and that whatever might have been said about him by co-workers did not reflect company policy and so was exempt under the "stray remarks" doctrine invented in 1988 by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on one of her more creative days. ( No Company for Old Men? )

Predictably, in a further erosion of business rights, the California Supreme Court has now ruled against Google and so the case must go to trial on its merits. The court said: “An age-based remark not made directly in the context of an employment decision or uttered by a non-decision-maker may be relevant, circumstantial evidence of discrimination.” This ruling's potential to bring full-blown political correctness to the workplace is easily imagined. First, companies were forbidden from making employment and promotion decisions on a variety of grounds, regardless of the employers' preferences . Now, any stray remark by any company employee may be used as evidence of anti-whatever-ism inside the company. Inevitably, companies will begin to crack down on any expression of groupism of any variety, no matter how deep-seated may be man's tendency to think in terms of stereotypes and to joke in terms of steretypes.

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