Strong opinions, weakly held

You can only fall so far

Andrew Leonard on Eliot Spitzer’s new column at Slate:

But fundamentally, I’m just flat-out impressed. What do you have to do in this country to absolutely, completely, ruin your long-term income-generating potential? Americans are a forgiving bunch.

I’ve always been fascinated by the floor on how far people tend to be able to fall in our society, although I find the phenomenon more remarkable in business than in politics. A Slate column is not the same as being the governor of New York. But in business, once you’re in the CEO club, you’re in for life. The same goes for vice presidents, directors, managers, and so forth. In my experience, no failure is too spectacular to disqualify you from getting a job with the same title as you’ve had in the past.


  1. I think that’s called a double standard.

  2. I don’t get this… He used a prostitute and got caught. On the other hand, he spent a lot of time trying to rein in the pack of greed-crazed thieves, liars and slimeballs on Wall St. who packaged up the stinking mortgage securities and sold the country down the shithole. For screwing a prostitute he should be banned for life? What planet does Leonard live on? Evidently he drinks Kool Aid from the same toilet as WaMu, Bear Stearns, AIG, et.al. ad nauseum.

  3. Spitzer getting himself a column is not particularly noteworthy. This is just an instance of the old adage ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity.’

    Someone with high name ID can always find a way to monetize it through media channels.

    The failed CEO phenomenon I think is explained by crony capitalism, i.e. the boys’ clubs that masquerade as boards of directors for big US corporations, abetted by corrupt stock analysts on Wall Street. Directors (themselves CEOs) team up to watch out for each other at the expense of companies and shareholders.

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