Ethics, Politics & Friendship — Do They Mix?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Ed Albetski 8 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #108339

    Doris Tirone

    Just when Americans slowly start to peak their heads out from under the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression, JPMorgan Chase brings back one of its former top executives and one of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s oldest and dearest friends, Daniel Zelikow.

    Mr. Zelikow is the man who gave over his townhouse rent-free to his dear friend and even if Mr. Geithner did not, technically, break any ethics rules by accepting this free housing, he somehow thought it was prudent to move out, just before Zelikow returned to JPMorgan Chase.

    So this relationship Mr. Geitner has with his buddy is now both professional & personal with JPMorgan Chase and it makes me wonder if Mr. Gietner will recuse himself whenever Treasury has to rule or make rules on issues of material interest to the banking industry (or JPMorgan Chase, in particular) or on rules that in any way involve Zelikow and his clients. It also makes me wonder just exactly why JPMorgan Chase saw fit to rehire Zelikow, especially given his comment that “now is an excellent time to extend <the bank’s> historically strong capabilities to public sector clients around the world.”

    How do you weigh in on this issue? Is there “no problem” here or it this a big mistake?

  • #108349

    Ed Albetski

    To answer your larger question:
    I think Mary Matalin and her husband James Carville have proven that friendship and even love can mix with politics. Ethics? No, I don’t think ethics can, on either side of the aisle. To SUCCEED in politics, ethics has to be tossed off the sleigh (and be devoured by the wolves chasing you).

  • #108347

    Stephen Peteritas

    yeah it’s definitely fishy but at the same time I know there’s things I would do for people close to me that aren’t the most ethical so it makes it very hard to throw the first stone.

  • #108345

    Doris Tirone

    Perhaps you’re right about tossing aside ethics in order to succeed in politics but I think that’s a sad sign of our times more than a necessity for political success. Morals, values, integrity? Americans as recently as the 1950s were appauled and used their votes to keep people like this from holding public office. We used to develop our virtues by learning from what we lived by in our families; now, a lot of people don’t even know what these virtues are so they don’t have the skills to practice them. Definately a sign of our times!

  • #108343

    Ed Albetski

    I’m not sure if it is a sign of our times. When was politics clean?
    When Jefferson campaigned against John Adams a pamphlet called Adams: “a hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensiblity of a woman.”

    Rutherford B Hayes had to defend against a rumor that he shot his own mother in a fit of rage.

    Davy Crockett accused candidate Martin Van Buren of secretly wearing women’s clothing.

    Seems when folks throw their hat into the ring they leave any scruples they might have had outside it. Check out historical mud slinging on the web. Someone even accused one president of being a child molester… Polk, I think.

  • #108341

    Ed Albetski

    Very good point, Stephen. Only a very VERY good friend would call me up in the middle of the night to help hide a body… and expect me to bring my van.

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