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I agree with your point, but treating the symptom must be done in such a way that the problem is still seen to be a problem. Another case in point was when the banking collapse hit, 'leaders' blamed things like 'excess greed' and so on, and dodged the real problem (IMHO).

I'm afraid of throwing Ortiz to the wolves, washing our hands and saying, "Well, that's that."

This could have a somewhat chilling effect on other prosecutors although obviously only in cases against people who are somewhat popular or at least have the potential to become so. Poor people without outspoken friends would still get screwed. And the incentives for the prosecutors to "score big" would still remain.

What was 'the real problem' with the collapse, in your view?

People smarter than I will have to figure that out. I'm talking about fairly soon after, before any investigation, we had politicians (McCain, for one) blaming "excess greed." I think this is a straw-man. The people in that job get paid to be greedy. You can't blame that, you have at least recognize that a system (regulations and work flow) is broken if it is so obtuse that people can't even know what decisions are in their own best interest.

I actually sort of see this as a real-life tragedy of the commons situation, although you kind of have to squint your eyes and wave your hands a bit to make it fit.

The "common resource" is the client opportunity. The Nash equilibrium is every employee maximizing their own bonuses. The group optimum is the health of the company. It turned out that the individual self-interest did not align to what was good for the health of the companies. And in fact, that if they had cooperated and worked for the health of the companies, the employees may have ended up with higher individual payouts. This is exactly what the tragedy of the commons is about, and it's what apparently shook Greenspan to his core. So basically, it was the (predicted (over and over again)) failure of Objectivism.

That's an interesting take. I always thought that they didn't know that their actions would result in such disaster.

I worry about the same non-effect with the gun-law blitz we're seeing after Sandy Hook. I worry that we're not attacking the problem- which may have more to do with mental health issues than gun laws.

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