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23 March 2007



I don't believe in the preconceived notion that every organization has to have virtuous behavior in order to succeed. This especially applies to the hedge fund game. Let's look at it like this, Cramer was a successful hedge fund manager; he dropped out several years ago to become a visible media star. Cramer just used the standard playbook of hedge fund managers to add value for his customers. I believe that if the virtues of Cramer and his hedge fund clients are aligned, then his lack of virtue will not cause any problems unless the law intervenes. Also the only reason he is being criticized for his actions is because he admitted to it. If he had never said anything, we would know nothing about his "dishonesty".
I just think it is too idealistic to say that all organizations and all people within them must be virtuous (what about the crooks we don't ever hear about). On the whole, it pays for businesspeople to be ethical and virtuous, but it is not a prerequisite for a successful organization.

Abel Winn


Success can certainly be had with no virtue whatsoever, but my point is that it is "a dangerous game." That is, you're introducing a realy possibility that unethical or illegal activity will be discovered in your organization, which can (and should) be devastating. My bet is that in most cases the probability-weighted cost of being found out exceeds the probability-weighted benefit of being found out.


Point taken, but what about unethical behavior that is not necessarily unlawful? I'm not exactly sure about the lawfullness of Cramer's actions, but I'm sure that hedge funds engage in activity all of the time that is unethical yet lawful. I guess my point is that as long as the law doesn't get you, and your customers are sharing the same priorities, it doesn't matter how much virtue you lack.

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