Last week the CEOs of Countrywide, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch appeared before Congress where a panel "ripped" them for taking home multi-million-dollar fortunes while their companies sowed the seeds of our current, countrywide (heh) economic problems.

Their extravagant pay wasn't literally ripped, like those old shirts you can no longer afford to replace because the market's tanking. It was more just a public admonishment.

Virginia Rep. Tom Davis: "Punishing individual corporate executives with public floggings like this may be a politically satisfying ritual-like an island tribe sacrificing a virgin to a grumbling volcano. But in the end, it won't answer the questions...about corporate responsibility and economic stability."

He's right in part. Public tongue-lashings aren't going to fix vertiginous income disparities or lack of accountability for CEOs. But nothing compares to the political satisfaction of appeasing a grumbling volcano with a virgin.
The story from Reuters[/url].