Imploding Dot-Coms and Enrons: Punishment for Our Wretched Excess
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Feb. 26 2002 12:03 PM


I have to go first, or not at all, so forgive me, Chris. My computer went on the blink at home, so I had to leave the heater repairman (whom I asked to help fix it; technologically naive, I figure if you can fix a heat pump, you can fix a hard drive). I have to go back momentarily.


I was struck this morning once again at how rich people are different from you and me. There were the Barclay bankers, spending $62,000 at dinner; the NBA star shooting his chauffeur at his 65-acre house with three swimming pools and a mini-golf course; and yesterday's description of how the Enron execs moved in tandem up the real estate ladder in Houston, all with mini-mansions, and then with similar rock star cars. Whatever happened to inconspicuous consumption? Don't they know we hated the '90s? The implosion of the dot-coms and the catching up with the balance sheets of various high-flying corporations (Enron just being one) are at least some punishment for the wretched excess that's enveloped us. At least the fawning profiles and memoirs of business execs should be at a merciful end. It shouldn't have taken 9/11 for us to admire the people who deserve it, but it did. A firefighter didn't have a chance of being singled out amid the hagiography accorded Jennifer Aniston and Jack Welch.

You can get us back onto more serious world affairs if you'd like, and I promise to make up for going first—and so slightly—after lunch.

Margaret Carlson is a columnist for Time magazine. She also appears on Inside Politics and Capital Gang.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.