Brandeis and the Current Financial Meltdown

03Mar09

Critics of Other People’s Money claim that the book is misguided and out of date, but its ideas keep generating discussion, especially in this time of economic uncertainty. Now Wired Magazine (of all places) has cited Brandeis in its latest issue. Their article “The Road Map for Financial Recovery: Radical Transperancy Now!” talks about the efforts of computer geeks to devise a number of metatags that could take the obfuscations of corporate financial statements and translate them into raw data. The idea is that by making the statements truly transparent, the public would not have to rely on the SEC so much to expose corporate fraud. Instead anybody could become the next Dan DiBartolomeo (who exposed the Bernie Madoff scandal) or even Brandeis (who famously did the same thing with the New Haven Railroad.)

I think the article’s final two paragraphs sums it up perfectly: “Brandeis argued that electric lights were the best police force. Now it’s time to give everyone a flashlight.”

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-03/wp_reboot

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