Note to Henry Paulson

Stop making intellectually dishonest arguments in defense of your class interests. Managers work for shareholders.

By law, managers are fiduciaries for shareholders. Any manager of a financial institution who refused to sell assets to the Garbage Pail Agency because doing so would cap his salary would be personally liable for any resulting losses.

Note to Barack Obama: Do not consider keeping this man at the Treasury. Asked to come up with a plan, he came up with a blank check. He is not standing firm against the demands of the lobbyists that the bailout apply to everyone and his uncle, including foreign firms, and to every class of asset.

And now, in the face of impending catastrophe, he seems to be loyal to his fellow financial executives and not to the country.

And now that we see the Blackrocks of the world slavering about the huge fees they expect to collect as asset managers for the government, you should insist that the asset management be done by civil servants at the Treasury. Letting the Wall Street moguls get even richer by cleaning up their own mess is something the voters won’t hold still for.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: