Ladies & Gentlemen:
I was distressed to read that your head of global investment banking, Hugh “Skip” McGee, recently called for the dismissal of Upper School Principal Michael Saltman, Headmaster Donald North and teacher, Leslie Lovett at his son’s school, the Kinkaid School in Texas, in response to Ms. Lovett referring to bankers as “sleazeballs.” Apparently, Mr. Saltman has tendered his resignation as a result of the incident.
I served as a managing director and member of the board of a Wall Street investment bank, as a mortgage and housing market regulator in the first Bush Administration and then founded and ran an investment bank in Washington. Throughout, I had ongoing dealings with numerous Wall Street firms, including Mr. McGee’s former employer, Lehman Brothers. (See: http://www.dunwalke.com)
In my opinion, the fundamental economics and politics of the banking business have evolved in a manner such that it is technically appropriate to refer to large financial institutions and the bankers that run them as “sleazeballs.” However, for overpaid bankers who use coercion to rid themselves of honest underpaid educators and, thus intimidate teachers everywhere, I can think of more appropriate names.
I would recommend that reinstatement of Mr. Saltman and an apology to the Kinkaid School is appropriate. So is some serious soul searching about transforming our financial system to one in which markets allocate capital to a real economy according to performance rather than intimidation and force.
Catherine Austin Fitts
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Did ‘Highest Paid Man on Wall Street’ Just Win the Kinkaid School Culture War?
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‘Highest Paid Man on Wall Street’ Ignites Culture War at His Kid’s Prep School
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“Barclays Banker Hugh McGee Wants Son’s Teacher Fired For ’Sleazeball’ Comment”
Naked Capitalism (05 Dec 09)