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Saturday's Letters to the Editor

Money corrupts

EDITOR: Sonoma State University Professor Joshua Glasgow demonstrates conclusively that money corrupts by refusing to discuss AIG in his ethics program ("Some topics too close to home for SSU ethics center," Jan. 17). As a result, his program is a sham and useless as a way to train students in ethical issues.

As the financial crisis developed, Wall Street encouraged the selling of toxic mortgages to unqualified home buyers. Those mortgages were then submitted to a rating agency. Based on that rating, AIG provided insurance to reassure investors that the mortgages were high quality when, in fact, they were junk. If AIG had done its homework, it would have refused to sell the insurance, and the whole scam would have come to a screeching halt. Instead, AIG pocketed a lot of insurance premium money and reassured the world that junk mortgages were first class.

This is an issue that students need to understand in an ethics class. For Glasgow to ignore it because his program depends on AIG financial contributions demonstrates conclusively that business donations corrupt absolutely. His failure to offer this case study assures us that the financial crisis that nearly collapsed the world economy will happen again.

It's amazing how cheaply people can be bought. Glasgow's price is only $16,000.

HANS BEERBAUM

Petaluma

Stop the presses

EDITOR: Let's hope that old journalism instructors who have moved on to their "eternal reward" have no access to today's newspapers. I know for certain that my old high school teacher would be flipping in his grave if he got a glimpse of Wednesday's edition of The Press Democrat. With all the big stories to choose from, the article that won the prime front-page spot, with color picture and headline above the fold, was an announcement that Two-Buck Chuck has raised the price by 50 cents. Now there's the news we all need to know to start our day.

SHERRILL DUNNING-RILEY


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