A COLUMNIST'S SHAME
I strongly disagree with the position of columnist Philip G. Kircher, concerning the Scooter Libby who was convicted of lying to a grand jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ("Scooter Libby Deserves a Pardon," Risk & Insurance®, April 15, 2007, Page 18.)
Kircher states, "While clearly inappropriate, lying to the government is prevalent in this country." The sentiment that I garner from this statement is that, since everyone is doing it, we are permitted to delineate different shades of gray. Shame on you for not coming out and stating that lying is wrong, not merely inappropriate.Attitudes such as this remind me of the situations I experienced while growing up in Westchester County, N.Y., when some "country club set" boys were given great latitude to act wrongly because they were from the "better side of the tracks."
This country does not have two standards, one for the privileged and well-connected and one for everybody else. The degree of truthfulness to which "Scooterboy" needs to be held is the same degree to which my auto mechanic or garbage man should be held. In fact, I was taught that the more fortunate you are in this lifetime, the greater responsibility you have.
Whether or not those higher up on the food chain in Washington, D.C., also lied, it doesn't detract from the wrongness of Libby's actions. There are no degrees of lying.
Let's not set examples for the generation coming up that will chip away at moral values that will keep this country and our Constitution in good stead.
ALEC A. PANDALEON 3RD
Putnam Insurance Brokerage
RISKING A DEFINITION
To me, "risk" always meant the chance of something going wrong. Maybe it's my background speaking. But as Beaumont Vance points out in "Risk: A Term Ill- Defined," (Risk & Insurance®, April 1, 2007, Page 16,) there are
various definitions for the term, and what may apply in mortgage banking may not exactly fit within insurance and risk management.
In this regard the April 9, 2007, issue of Business Week contains an interesting discussion with Peter Bernstein, a well-known advisor to institutional investors and author. Business Week Contributing Editor Christopher Farrell asked Bernstein the magic question: How do you define risk?
Quoting Elroy Dimson at the London Business School, Bernstein replied:
"Risk means more things can happen than will happen. This means you don't know the limits of what can happen, but you still have to make decisions. So you manage risks by comparing them to potential returns, and through diversification. Remember, just because more things can happen than will happen doesn't mean bad things will happen. The outcome can be better than you expect. Maybe a stock I own will triple."
E. BERNARD MCGLYNN JR.
Claims & Surety Services
Lewis Chester Associates Inc.
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July 1, 2007
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