Friday, October 3, 2008

The definition of hubris

An IT company this week announced that it is now qualified to set energy policy for the United States:

SAN FRANCISCO--The United States government has been unable to fix the country's energy problems, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said, but the Internet giant on Wednesday proposed its own 22-year solution.

"We have seen a total and complete failure of leadership in the political parties of the United States," Schmidt said in a speech at the Commonwealth Club here. "We've been working on a plan to help solve this problem."

Earlier in the day, Google unveiled that plan, which doesn't lack for chutzpah: Clean Energy 2030 aims to wean the United States from its dependence on fossil fuels within 22 years.

Schmidt said the plan requires $4.5 trillion in spending to pull it off, but it'll pay for itself with $5.5 trillion in savings. "With this plan, it's cheaper to fix global warming than it is to ignore it," Schmidt said.
Perhaps when it’s done, Google can figure out how to fix the risk/reward imbalance in the mortgage industry and more broadly on Wall Street. Lord knows, we didn’t have enough transparency and information about the risks being taken by Freddie and Fannie, even if some saw the train wreck coming.

Maybe I’m being unfair. Perhaps this is just one of the responsibilities President Schmidt feels he must address as he prepares to wield the reins of Total World Domination (without term limits). Or perhaps this is just the hubris that comes to any billionaire.

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