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Reputation, reputation, reputation!

Othello, Act II, Scene 3:

Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!

IAGO: As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more sense in that than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit and lost without deserving. You have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser.

And so Krugman today:

The crisis of the 1990s was winding down. Discussing the causes of that crisis, Mr. Summers pointed to things that the crisis countries lacked — and that, by implication, the United States had. These things included “well-capitalized and supervised banks” and reliable, transparent corporate accounting. Oh well.

[T]hese days foreign leaders are in no mood to be lectured by American officials, even when — as in this case — the Americans are right.

The financial crisis has had many costs. And one of those costs is the damage to America’s reputation, an asset we’ve lost just when we, and the world, need it most.

Yep. Two years -- at least -- into the crisis, and we still don't know just how big the Big Shitpile is, and not one of those who "innovated" to create it have been held accountable to the country in any way. Not so much as a sternly worded letter from Congress, let alone a hearing. And the whole process of shovelling the banksters trillions to pay for the Shitpile they piled up has been totally opaque.

How could we possibly get a decent reputation back when the people who destroyed it are rewarded and given more power? It's classic Step Four stuff: "A searching and fearless moral inventory" -- to be true to "the immortal part of ourselves."

And after that, amends would be nice. But n-o-o-o-o-o!

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Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

in "A Civil Campaign." She's good on a lot of subjects, but I like Count Aral Vorkosigan on reputation really well:

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself." – Count Aral Vorkosigan, A Civil Campaign. He continues:
"There is no more hollow feeling than to stand with your honor shattered at your feet while soaring public reputation wraps you in rewards. That's soul-destroying. The other way around in merely very, very irritating."