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"Nero" Fiddling While Rome Burns

I was at a talk about the financial crisis given by a noted author this week, whom I won't name for fear of inadvertently misrepresenting his views. He proposed a number of sensible reforms such as greater regulation, but noted glumly that most reforms would be defeated by heavy lobbying.

"Why would people be lobbying so hard against reform when we are in the middle of a full blown crisis?" I asked him. "You would have thought they had learned a lesson."

"Because they're getting too rich," was the gist of his reply. "Because they are making so much money they don't care about anything else."

This, more than anything else I've seen, points to the decadence of modern American society. The Roman equivalent was the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Ask the 10% unemployed if "Rome" isn't burning. Or people foreclosed upon, or those living in their homes in foreclosure limbo.

I won't name the "Neros" except to say that many of them are in financial news on a daily basis.