About Bethany McLean:
Bethany McLean is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, and known for her work on the Enron scandal and the 2008 financial crisis. She had been an editor at large and columnist for Fortune and a contributor to Slate.
Capital isn't this pile of money sitting somewhere; it's an accounting construct.
In capital we trust. Capital is our savior, our holy grail, our fountain of youth, or at least health, for banks.
Home ownership was the fig leaf for the rise in subprime lending. But that was really about cash-out refinancings, not buying homes.
Privatization of assets that most of us consider public goods - like airports and highways - has a long, often-uncontroversial history.
What's good for the financial industry probably isn't good for you.
Fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in isolation, without looking at the big picture, would be short-sighted.
When Warren Buffett invests in a company, he is conferring upon that company something very unique: his credibility.
The big banks advise cities about whether privatization is a wise choice. They also control the ability of states and cities to access the market for their financing needs.
Proponents of privatization argued that cities and states needed private capital to fund all the upgrades that our decaying infrastructure so desperately needed.
No city embraced privatization more eagerly than Chicago, where I live.
Choices of right or wrong are not presented to you in black and white. If they were, I'm sure most people would choose white.
The worst story I ever wrote was after the conviction of Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay. My co-author and I wrote a piece for 'Fortune' saying everything's going to be different now.
Before Enron, I think people were a bit more naive about the way things worked, and I think Enron pulled the curtain back on unsavoury practices that turned out to be a lot more widespread.
Google worries - and rightly so - about how hard it is for a big company to come up with the next hot thing.
Going to work every day was like my hair was on fire and all I had to put it out was a hammer.
I'm not a big believer in the power of more regulation to fix things. I think it can almost be more dangerous because it provides the illusion that things have been fixed without the substance.