NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, both Democrats, saw nothing wrong with the subprime mortgage industry, Fannie Mae ( FNMA) or Freddie Mac ( FMCC) months before the meltdown.Hewlett-Packard's ( HPQ) board seemed befuddled by then-CEO Leo Apotheker's decision to sell off HP's core PC business.
Risk is honoring the obligation of stewardship that requires prudence, discipline and strong discernment between opportunities and distractions disguised as "sure things," which never are. Mere mortals can't handle risk, but responsible board leaders and company leaders have an obligation. True leaders must not treat other people's money as though it were their own. They must determine what is and isn't worth a gain or a loss. They must trust one another to gather good information, make timely decisions and be willing to know and accept the consequences of those decisions. Is this the job of mere mortals? It's the job of mortals with conscience, honor and integrity entrusted with responsibilities and compensated with astronomical status, power and benefits. Thankfully, more boards and CEOs are up to the task than not. Sadly, we seem to only hear about the gods who fall to earth.