The economic recovery has not benefited Americans equally. We all know that. But few facts underscore that point more clearly than the startling number of consumers whose financial futures have been put on hold by subprime credit scores.
In government, corporate and nonprofit offices across the country are women who are smart, work hard and care about their profession but are regularly ignored because they are viewed as too mousy or too pouty or too inexperienced or too something.
The Reagan years inundated American homeowners with advertising campaigns encouraging them to borrow against their homes to take dream vacations. This was the first time, in history, when people imagined the way to get rich was to run in to debt.
Hayward misbehaved by saying what he felt. But is there any reason to believe he is worse as an executive than any of his colleagues? He did spend nearly 30 years rising steadily through the ranks at BP, and he was the guy who reached the top.
A healthy financial system would have been able to absorb the subprime shock. But our financial system, wildly overleveraged, crumpled after just one blow. If we don't fix the leverage problem, everything else will be for naught.