As you've no doubt heard by now, North Carolina's own senior Senator faced a stark moral dilemma last year. I'm trying to figure out whether the actions he chose to take were defensible. The details you need for this discussion can be found online, but here's a quick overview.
Last year as the American banking system skated close to the edge of collapse, Senator Richard Burr talked with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson about the extreme risks ahead. With that information in hand, Burr called his wife and told her to begin taking money out of their bank. It was Friday night.
I called my wife and I said, ‘Brooke, I am not coming home this weekend. I will call you on Monday. Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take. And I want you to tomorrow, and I want you to go Sunday.’ I was convinced on Friday night that if you put a plastic card in an ATM machine the last thing you were going to get was cash.”
As I see it, Senator Burr had inside knowledge about an imminent collapse in the financial sector. But instead of communicating that information to constituents like you and me, he simply covered his own ass.
If Richard Burr had serious concerns about liquidity in the banking system, did he have an obligation to let all of us in North Carolina know? And if he didn't have that obligation, should he have used his inside information to protect his own personal interests while leaving his constituents to fend for themselves? The problem, of course, is that any warning to We the People might have triggered a run on banks that could have been catastrophic.
No matter how I look at this, Senator Burr appears to have opted for his own self interest over public interest when the chips were down.
What am I missing?