Most people who have paid any attention to the financial crisis know the Bush administration’s pathological fixation on expanding homeownership among Hispanics played a contributing role in blowing the housing bubble, but I didn’t realize that diversity dogma also played a part in the collapse of Lehman Bros. Steve Sailer quotes from A Colossal Failure of Common Sense, a book by an ex-Lehman executive, describing how the president of Lehman was more interested in diversity and inclusion than in risk management.
One of these was our corporate president, Joe Gregory, the right-hand
man of the reclusive CEO, Dick Fuld. … But Joe Gregory was a regular,
run-of-the-mill, ho-hum financial sycophant, devoted to his master,
Richard Fuld, … Joe’s fixation was a subject called diversity. He was
consumed with it. His aim was the mission of inclusion. He had an entire
department devoted to it, headed up by a managing director. Great
rallies were staged in New York’s auditoriums, with free cocktails and
hors d’oeuvres served for up to six hundred people, all listening to Joe
or one of his henchmen pontificating. “Inclusion! That must be our
aim!” he would yell, as if we were running a friggin’ prayer meeting.
… Which was all very well, but down in the trenches, where a trader
might sweat blood to make a couple of million dollars, most of us were a
bit tetchy about Joe Gregory going off and spending it on a cocktail
party for six hundred people..
… Especially when it emerged that the top dog in diversity was earning
well over $2 million a year and that the diversity division had a
bigger budget and more people than risk management!
Joe’s mission for diversity drove [Christine Daley, head of
distressed-debt research] mad. She had no time for any of it, but Joe
Gregory had us all over a barrel: he had major control over our bonus
compensation, and he made it clear there would be extra money for those
who rallied to his cause. Most of us did not care about the cause, but
the prospect of this thirty-first-floor sycophant lopping a couple of
hundred thousand off our annual check because we weren’t in there
pitching for the cause of the day was seriously irritating. Harsher
judges than I considered Joe hid behind his unusual fixation,
appearing to fight the world’s woes while staying well clear of the
As go corporations, so go nations. The ongoing fixation of the USA’s politicians and body politic on diversity and inclusion means that the country is unlikely to sustain itself any more successfully than Lehman Bros. did.