The Blame Game – Finger Pointing


There sure is a lot of finger pointing going on these days. As investment portfolios tank, as jobs are lost and homes foreclosed upon, everybody is blaming everybody else. And it starts at the top-some of the world’s biggest corporations and some of the wealthiest financial institutions on the planet have come begging for bailouts. In most cases, the reasons these huge organizations say they need help is because of “reasons beyond their control.”

That’s not really how it works though, or at least how it should work. Take insurance giant AIG for example. In a misguided effort to make lots and lots of easy money, they literally invented an investment instrument that was essentially a bet that certain other investments would fail. Then, in order to make sure they were covered, they set up offshore banking entities that bet the other way, just in case. The subject of the bets of course was the outrageous mortgages granted to people who had no business getting them in the first place. Well, interest rates climbed, the misguided borrowers defaulted – en masse – and all of the bets came due. So AIG turned around and got bailed out-by us, of course.

And then there’s General Motors. For years now they’ve flown in the face of wisdom and continued creating cars that fewer people were buying. They ignored the competitions’ efforts to build cars that didn’t rely solely on fossil fuels and kept building gas guzzlers-think Hummer here, a GM subsidiary. And then on top of that, labor expenses have gotten so out of hand that the fully loaded cost-salary, taxes and benefits-is right around $ 80 an hour for most assembly line employees. Foreign manufacturers do the same work for about $ 25 an hour. So when failure was imminent, they too turned to the federal government, and they too got bailed out.

But what we’re not seeing here is anybody stepping up and taking responsibility for the problems. People are like that-it’s always easier to blame someone else. The reason is pretty simple, because if you’re blaming someone else, it lets you off the hook.

So think about that for a minute. Is your career where you want it to be? Is your retirement secure, and your investment portfolio solid? If not, who are you blaming? Well here’s the thing-it’s time to forgive them. Let it go. And start assuming the responsibility yourself.

Regardless of what you do in life, regardless of how successful you are-or aren’t-you’re the responsible party. Start accepting your role in your own future and stop blaming others. Wipe the slate clean, and start moving forward.