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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 14, 2008 / 15 Tishrei 5769

Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system

By Michael Smerconish


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When it comes to the economy, the real straight talk is being offered by John C. Bogle, founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Group Inc., the second-largest mutual fund company in the United States.

Bogle's new book, "Enough: True Measures of Money, Business and Life," hits the shelves next month.

The title comes from a conversation between writers Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller during a billionaire's party on Shelter Island. At one point, Bogle told me, Vonnegut pointed to the host and asked Heller: "Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel 'Catch-22' has earned in its entire history?"

"Yes," Heller responded, "but I have something he will never have: Enough."

Bogle is a rarity - a true captain of industry who speaks about complex economic issues in a language comprehensible to the layperson. He's also prescient. On the second page of the introduction to a book he penned long before the current crisis, he offers this:

"We see the excesses most starkly in the continuing crisis - that is not an extreme description - in our overleveraged, overly speculative banking and investment industries, and even in our two mortgage lenders, to say nothing of the billion-dollar-plus annual paychecks that top hedge fund managers draw down and the obscene (there is no other word for it) compensation paid to the chief executive officers of our nation's publicly held corporations - including failed CEOs, often even as they are being pushed out the door."

His is the kind of candor that's been missing everywhere from Washington to Wall Street over these last few weeks. And he offers it free of partisan rancor. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., treats the floor of the Congress like it's the Democratic National Convention and the GOP House leadership responds with sophomoric rebukes, Bogle calls them as he sees them. And what he mostly sees is an economy that has lost its bearings.

Bogle recently told me that the inner workings of our nation's financial system have become too complicated. They are too driven by profits and not anchored by value. There was too much speculation and not enough investment, too much complexity without enough simplicity.

"We just got overwhelmed with greed, with creating financial instruments - not that benefit the investors in those instruments, but benefit the purveyors, the marketers, the investment bankers, the bankers. They got immensely rich selling junk to other bankers, as well as to the public," he said.

"Complexity costs a lot of money. And our financial system was taking approximately $650 billion out of the pockets of Americans every year. That's how much we pay for our financial services."

In his book, Bogle is quick to criticize the enormous earnings of industry chieftains such as Bear Stearns CEO James E. Cayne, who made $232 million between 1993 and 2006. But that payout is a manifestation of a more widespread problem.

"Greed is not confined to the financial markets, it just finds its worst manifestation there," he told me. "Our society has changed. It's kind of a 'me' society, a 'more' society, an egocentric society, an arrogant society in many, many ways. And not the entire society. I want to be very clear on this: There are huge segments of American society that aren't affected. This is the upper crest."

Bogle cites "a tremendous rollback of government responsibility" throughout the Bush administration and says the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve haven't been as discerning as they should have been.

When prodded, Bogle rated the presidential candidates' response to the mess.

"I'll give McCain the benefit of the doubt and say, when he said the fundamentals of the economy were sound ... that probably was the stupidest statement of 2008. The fundamentals of this economy are not sound."

What he has heard from the Obama camp, Bogle told me, is more on track.

"We have too much of a money-centered economy, too much of a property-centered economy, not enough of a value-centered economy," he said, "and Wall Street and our bankers are taking an outrageous share of our national product."

Bogle said he wished President Bush had confronted the greed so entrenched on Wall Street long ago. Now, he said, we need a "czar" to look over the situation - someone above Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the White House.

I can think of a man for the job: the author of "Enough."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:

09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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