William D. Cohan, a Duke alum who in recent years has made a very successful transition from investment banker to author, has been penning some opinion columns in the New York Times of late.
Cohan published a piece Thursday in the Times about an issue that he raised when we chatted with him back in October: The lack of accountability and transparency from the people who were at the center of the Wall Street meltdown.
"To date, these elusive but important Wall Street executives have kept an exceedingly low profile, hoping against hope that the whole thing just blows over," Cohan writes. "We can’t let that happen. There is just too much at stake now, and Wall Street has proved repeatedly over the past 40 years — since the firms went from private partnerships (where partners had their entire net worth on the line) to public companies (where bankers and traders were encouraged to take huge risks with other people’s money) — that it is incapable of regulating itself."
Cohan, whose previous book documented the downfall of Bear Stearns, is now working on a book about Goldman Sachs. He's also become a regular contributor to Vanity Fair magazine.
In the Times piece, he dismisses the work of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission as mere political theater.
He also takes a swipe at some of the reform ideas recently pushed by Paul Volker, the former Fed Chairman.