In a corporate environment, competence counts for a lot. I was at a party once with some people at work, and Z (who had had a bit too much to drink, I must add) said about J “He knows his shit. And when you say that about someone, that’s a great compliment to give, you know, that he knows his shit?” Number of cocktails inside Z aside, point noted. Competence matters.
But in the public sphere, it’s apparently OK to be a complete dimwit. I’ve been following the depositions of Greenspan, Robert Rubin and the good folks at various multiple-fancy-named institutions on Wall Street ( Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley et al), and everyone’s saying this about the crisis: No one saw it coming.
Seriously? I’d like to see a CEO make that argument in a closed-door board meeting.
I shudder to think that these jokers hold the keys to the world’s largest economy. I don’t know which is worse: that they were incompetent enough to not understand that this was a train hurtling out of control, or that they are lying.