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Here is a link to Michael Lewis's old article titled "What Wall Street's CEOs Don't Know Can Kill You" on Bloomberg:

(Thanks to PBS Frontline for bringing up this gem to my attention.)

Some tidbits:

"Jimmy Cayne plays bridge, and Stan O'Neal golfs while their firms collapse, not because they don't care their firms are collapsing, but because they don't know that their firms are collapsing."

"Late last November, in a superb account of the demise of Citigroup CEO Charles Prince, Carol Loomis of Fortune magazine revealed that Prince resigned after he was informed of the consequences of liquidity puts -- options that allowed buyers of complex and presumably safe mortgage securities to hand them back to Citigroup at par if they became hard to finance."

"The profits came from financial innovation -- mainly in mortgage securities and interest-rate arbitrage. But its CEO, John Gutfreund, had only a vague idea what the bright young things dreaming up clever new securities were doing. Some of it was very smart, some of it was not so smart, but all of it was beyond his capacity to understand."

(Emphasis added.)

Michael Lewis concludes by saying that the CEO's are not really lazy or stupid, but their institutions have become so opaque. I can't quite believe both parts of that sentence.

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