On Incentives

"Never penalize those who work for us for mistakes or reward them for being right about markets. It will go to their heads, is counterproductive and, in any event, material compensation will not correlate with their ability to predict the future next time."

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Writings & Speeches

Election 2016

First, it will be the Muslims,
then the immigrants,
then the foreigners,
then the gays,
then those of color not lily-white,
then those who have married their own gender,
then those who have chosen dominion over their own bodies,
then the disabled,
then the elderly,
then the teachers,
then those not deemed “attractive” enough,
then women, 
then the poor,
then the non-believers,
then the believers,
then the dissidents,
then those who choose to retain their own culture,
then refugees from terror,
then those who disagree.
And then, yes, the bankers and those with power,
And then those with long, gray beards who own jewelry shops on 7th Avenue.

For some, the punishment will be prison
or camps
or over-crowded boats
or expulsion
or sticks and stones
or terror in the night
or profiling
or shunning
or loss of employment
or sneers
or jokes
or humiliation
or ridicule
by practice or by courts or by laws, as our new society, free from civility, free from established norms, will enhance and encourage an acceptance of what surely is not our better selves.

As Martin Niemoller wrote, on his experience in Germany, “then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”

For those few left unscathed, they may, perhaps, with fear, also take to heart the words of the 17th Century English clergyman/poet, John Donne:

“never send to know for whom the bells tolls, 
It tolls for thee.”

Gene Rotberg was former Treasurer of the World Bank