Outrage and hatred really are appropriate for those individuals who committed or enabled shemes that led to the sub-prime financial crisis. It goes against all my spiritual learning to succumb to this anger but it's born of frustration that these people are getting so rich while causing so much pain to others. They are counting on your apathy to avoid retribution.
While many voices, such as Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, call for prosecution of Wall Street companies like Goldman Sachs, I was unable to find a single list of individuals who might deserve to charged. Afterall, a company is too abstract to feel the fear and shame of public condemnation. Nothing will change until individuals change.
A tweet by Umair Haque (@umairh) got me thinking about the psychology and sociology of greed. Mr. Haque is a blogger on the Harvard Business Review and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. His tweet was a disgusted response to an article in Rolling Stone magazine, The Real Housewives of Wall Street. The article points to increasing brazenness of Wall Street bankers as they skim off billions of dollars from U.S. federal bail out money. The appalling injustice can be summed up in the author’s description of the bail out program: "giving already stinking rich people gobs of money for no fucking reason at all."
Haque’s tweet asked, “Can someone please explain why Americans don't do anything about it?”
One response in particular hit a nerve: “A lot of people say "well, heck, in their position, I'd do the same."