Sophie's Choice: admit wrongdoing and risk being pursued for restitution and even jail time; don't admit wrongdoing and insure that you will never be forgiven or trusted again.
If Wall Street admits it was wrong and, even more honestly, that it did wrong (by not taking into consideration -- or even caring about -- all the stakeholders in their decisions of the past several years) it runs the risk of being attacked by the injured parties who may justly and even morally demand restitution. That is why their lawyers will tell them never to make that admission.
However, until Wall Street admits that it did wrong, those hurt by their immoral (albeit legal according to the laws that the wealthy's lawyers have been able to pass) activities will not be able to forgive them and move beyond it.
One solution I'd suggest that is that all the banks that "manipulated" the average person's greed to the banks' advantage admit their wrongdoing, but be indemnified against retaliation. Otherwise we're never going to get that full apology that goes way beyond saying you're sorry.
Furthermore, if they would then lay out a plan going forward that would prevent them from manipulating the average person's gullibility and foolish greed to the banks' advantage, we might have a chance of psychologically moving past this impasse of distrust.
My guess is that Wall Street is hoping to wait it out until we have a full recovery, a return to full employment and consumer spending at which time all will be forgiven as America returns to "spending its cares away." That could be a very long wait.
What would be your suggestions as to how we put what is much more of a huge disappointment in the corruption of our financial institutions than a betrayal by evildoers?
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