What I wanted Buffett to say was what he has said in similar situations about news of corporate culpability: Get it right, get it fast, get it out. March down to Washington, Lloyd [Blankfein], sit down with SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro and say, Madam Chairman, what would you like us to do? Thank you, we'll get right on it, and we apologize to the taxpayers and investors. If she says, Your successor takes over July 1 and must not be a former trader, just say, OK.
That kind of principle-based thinking was missing throughout much of the meeting.
First of all, the SEC chairman spells her name "Schapiro," not "Shapiro," a small point but one that you'd think a writer whose name begins with the same three letters would be careful of. Second, what kind of "principle-based thinking" is it in a supposedly capitalist economy where an unelected bureaucrat sitting at the SEC, rather than a company's owners and directors, gets to decide who runs Goldman Sachs?